The format of next Tuesday night’s 43rd Annual Busch Clash At DAYTONA on the iconic DAYTONA Road course will be 35 laps with one scheduled caution set on lap 15, while the starting lineup for the will be determined via a blind draw Monday night on Daytona International Speedway’s Facebook page.
The draw can be seen Monday beginning at 9 p.m. on facebook.com/DAYTONA (click Facebook).NASCAR.com’s Alex Weaver will host the virtual event, and will be joined by Speedway President Chip Wile as well as the crew chiefs of each teams that will compete in the Busch Clash.
With 21 cans of Busch Beer on display, a number (1-21) will be affixed to the bottom each. In front of each can will be a letter and the crew chief will call out what letter they choose. Wile will then pick up the can, turn it upside down and reveal the starting position of each team.
The first pick will be for the No. 9 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Chevrolet team of Chase Elliott with crew chief – and Ormond Beach native – Alan Gustafson. Second will be for the No. 2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski and crew chief Jeremy Bullins. The draw will continue in order of the championship standings from 2020.
A total of 21 teams are scheduled to compete in this year’s Clash. Due to the pandemic, NASCAR adjusted the format for setting the field for a majority of its races last season. As such, the eligibility for the Busch Clash At DAYTONA – which has long been tied to Busch Pole Award wins in the previous season – has a new look. The eligibility requirements for the 2021 edition are:
· 2020 Busch Pole Award winners
· Past Busch Clash Winners who competed full-time in 2020
· DAYTONA 500 Champions who competed full-time in 2020
· Former DAYTONA 500 Busch Pole Winners who competed full-time in 2020
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff drivers
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Race winners
· 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Stage winners
The 21 drivers eligible to compete in the Busch Clash include: Aric Almirola (#10), Ryan Blaney (#12), Alex Bowman (#88), Chris Buescher (#17), Kurt Busch (#1), Kyle Busch (#18), William Byron (#24), Cole Custer (#41), Matt DiBenedetto (#21), Austin Dillon (#3), Ty Dillon (#23), Elliott (#9), Denny Hamlin (#11), Kevin Harvick (#4), Erik Jones (#43), Keselowski (#2), Joey Logano (#22), Ryan Newman (#6), Tyler Reddick (#8), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.,(#47) and Martin Truex, Jr. (#19).
Seven of the entries are former winners of the Busch Clash, led by Harvick and Hamlin with three wins each, along with one-time victors Keselowski, Logano, Kyle and Kurt Busch, as well as defending champion Jones.
One of the most unique and anticipated events in all of motorsports, the Busch Clash At DAYTONA will mark the first time the traditional exhibition-style event will tackle the track’s 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course, plus will take place under the lights with a scheduled a 7:00 p.m. ETstart. Drivers will compete on the same storied course (with the lone addition a NASCAR fourth-turn chicane) of as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and the DAYTONA 200, North America’s premier races for sports cars and motorcycles, respectively. The road course was introduced to NASCAR’s top three national series this past August for the first time.