NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway this week announced the criteria for eligibility for NASCAR Cup Series drivers to compete in the 2021 Busch Clash.
Set for Tuesday, February 9, under the lights, the 2021 Busch Clash will mark the first time in history the traditional exhibition-style event will tackle the track’s 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course, which was introduced for the first time ever to NASCAR’s top three national series this past August.
The race kicks off Daytona Speedweeks, and will be held on the same course (with the lone addition a NASCAR fourth-turn chicane) of as the Rolex 24 and the Daytona 200, North America’s premier races for sports cars and motorcycles, respectively.
Due to the pandemic, NASCAR adjusted the format for setting the field for a majority of its races in 2020. As such, the eligibility for next season’s Busch Clash – which has long been tied to Busch Pole Award wins in the previous season – will have 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
In contrast to the tightly packed competition on the Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile high-banked-tri-oval, the 2021 Busch Clash, which was held for the first time at Daytona in 1979, will utilize approximately three-quarters of the tri-oval along with the challenging infield portion of the road course. That translates into 14 turns instead of the usual four.
The 24 drivers eligible to compete in the ’21 Busch Clash include:
1. Aric Almirola
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Alex Bowman
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Chris Buescher
6. Kurt Busch
7. Kyle Busch
8. William Byron
9. Cole Custer
10. Matt DiBenedetto
11. Austin Dillon
12. Ty Dillon
13. Chase Elliott
14. Denny Hamlin
15. Kevin Harvick
16. Jimmie Johnson
17. Erik Jones
18. Matt Kenseth
19. Brad Keselowski
20. Joey Logano
21. Ryan Newman
22. Tyler Reddick
23. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
24. Martin Truex, Jr.