Tuesday night’s Busch Clash Race info

The start of the NASCAR season is here. Tuesday night’s Busch Clash will once again kick off the the 2021 campaign with the All-Star type race. 

Race Info

Pre Race Coverage – 6 p.m. ET (RaceDay) 

TV Coverage – 7 p.m. ET

Green Flag – 7:14 p.m. ET

TV – FS1

Radio – MRN

Distance – 35 Laps/126.35 Miles

Track Info

Daytona International Speedway (road course layout)

3.61-miles in length

Participation Qualifications

This season’s criteria to be eligible for the event are as follows:

  • 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

Entry List

Starting Lineup

Clash Winners:

Busch Clash All-Time Winners (24)

No. of Wins

Winners

Seasons

 

6

Dale Earnhardt

1980

 

3

Dale Jarrett

1996

 

3

Tony Stewart

2001

 

3

Kevin Harvick

2009

 

3

Denny Hamlin

2006

 

2

Neil Bonnett

1983

 

2

Ken Schrader

1989

 

2

Jeff Gordon

1994

 

2

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2003

 

2

Jimmie Johnson

2005

 

1

Buddy Baker

1979

 

1

Darrell Waltrip

1981

 

1

Bobby Allison

1982

 

1

Terry Labonte

1985

 

1

Bill Elliott

1987

 

1

Geoffrey Bodine

1992

 

1

Rusty Wallace

1998

 

1

Mark Martin

1999

 

1

Kurt Busch

2011

 

1

Kyle Busch

2012

 

1

Matt Kenseth

2015

 

1

Joey Logano

2017

 

1

Brad Keselowski

2018

 

1

Erik Jones

2020

 

Busch Clash Tidbits

The Busch Clash At Daytona Tidbits

  • The first Busch Clash at Daytona was held on February 11, 1979, and the event was won by Buddy Baker (194.384 MPH).
  • This weekend’s event will be the 43rd running of the Busch Clash at Daytona.
  • The number of participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009.
  • Like the past four seasons, the starting field for the 2021 Busch Clash at Daytona will not be a predetermined number of cars; rather, the field will be limited to drivers who meet more exclusive criteria. (24 drivers are eligible for this year’s event).
  • The 2021 season marks the first time in the exhibition-style event will compete on the 14-turn, 3.61-mile Daytona International Speedway Road Course
  • The format for the Busch Clash at Daytona has changed 15 times since its inception in the NASCAR Cup Series in 1979.
    • There have been 10 multiple winners in the Busch Clash at Daytona:
      • Dale Earnhardt won six events, most all-time (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).
      • Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
      • Kevin Harvick won in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
      • Tony Stewart won in 2001, 2002 and 2007.
      • Denny Hamlin won in 2006, 2014 and 2016.
      • Other multiple winners: Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994, 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2008) Jimmie Johnson (2005, 2019).
    • Bonnett, Schrader, Stewart and Harvick are the only drivers to win back-to-back Busch Clash at Daytona races.
    • No driver has won three consecutive Clash events.
    • Buddy Baker (1979), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won the first Busch Clash at Daytona in which they competed.
    • Only five times has the Busch Clash winner gone on to win the Daytona 500 pole: Buddy Baker (1979), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989, 1990), Dale Jarrett (2000).
    • Six times in the 42-year history of the race has the Busch Clash winner gone on to win the Daytona 500: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997), Denny Hamlin (2016).
    • Two drivers have swept the Busch Clash at Daytona, Daytona 500 pole and Daytona 500 from 1979-2020: Dale Jarrett (2000) and Bill Elliott (1987)
    • One driver has swept the Busch Clash at Daytona, the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 from 1979-2020: Bobby Allison (1982).
    • Seven drivers have won the Busch Clash at Daytona (1979-2020) and the championship in the same season. Dale Earnhardt is the only one to have accomplished it multiple times (four).
  • Tony Stewart (2002)

  • Jeff Gordon (1997)

  • Dale Earnhardt (1993, 1991, 1986 and 1980)

  • Darrell Waltrip (1981)


Preview

Throw out the past stats from the previous Busch Clashes. With this event being moved to the road course, nothing at all translates over. These drivers have run this road course layout just once in the August event last year. With NASCAR adding this same road course back as a points paying event the week after the Daytona 500, that makes this race as a glorified test session for the 21 drivers running in it. 

See, all the drivers have mentioned on their zoom calls over the past week that without the use for practice for the second race of the season, the 35 laps in the Clash will serve as practice for them. That could set up for a tame show by the sounds of it. 

The Clash pays money, not points, so with the past Clashes being checkers or wreckers, why would this be any different? Why not fully prepare for the points race a week later?

The move to the road course should also  help the team owners bank accounts and crash budget though. The 2019 race saw 17 of the 20 participants get caught up in a crash at some point. Last year, literally every car was caught up in something over the course of the 75 lap event. The road course layout should allow for less carnage. 

With all that being said, Tuesday night may be a better show anyways. I get some may scoff at the notion of this race being run on the road course, especially with how the road course looked a  year ago, but it’s not like the Busch Clash on the high banks had recently lived up to its billing either. With it normally being checkers or wreckers, the first 55 or 60 or so laps of the Clash have been dull. It’s actually been a line up in a high speed train around the top of the track for 90% of the race. Then, the final part is a wreckfest. It’s turned into an embarrassment in which we’ve long been looking for NASCAR to make an adjustment. Now, they so did with an experiment on the road course. I’m willing to give it a chance. It can’t be any worse than the last few years. 

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