Tomorrow NASCAR is officially back, even if it’s only for a short exhibition race. ANy excuse to go to Daytona works for me, even though this race will be held at the newly NASCAR minted Daytona Road Course. There are mixed opinions on the road course, but I think the drivers all appreciate a break from the stressful environment of the superspeedway.

There are seven different way for a driver to qualify for the Busch Clash:

  • 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

This season we have 21 drivers who qualified and will race tomorrow:

  1. Kurt Busch: #1 Advent Health Chevrolet
  2. Brad Keselowski: #2 Moneylion Ford
  3. Austin Dillon: #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
  4. Kevin Harvick: #4 Busch Light Ford
  5. Ryan Newman: #6 Guaranteed Rate Ford
  6. Tyler Reddick: #8 I Am Second Chevrolet
  7. Chase Elliott: #9 Llumar Chevrolet
  8. Aric Almirola: #10 Smithfield Ford
  9. Denny Hamlin: #11 FedEx Toyota
  10. Ryan Blaney: #12 Menards Ford
  11. Chris Buescher: #17 Fastenal Ford
  12. Kyle Busch: #18 M&M’s Core Toyota
  13. Martin Truex Jr.: #19 Dewalt Toyota
  14. Matt DiBenedetto: #21 Motocraft Ford
  15. Joey Logano:  #22 Shell/Penzoil Ford
  16. Ty Dillon: #23 Root Insurance Toyota
  17. William Byron: #24 Axalta Chevrolet
  18. Cole Custer: #41 Ford
  19. Erik Jones: #43 RP Funding Chevrolet
  20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: #47 Kroger Chevrolet
  21. Alex Bowman: #48 Ally Chevrolet

Odd enough, Ty Dillon will be the first driver for the new Michael Jordan owned 23XI Racing. Ty Dillon qualified for the Busch Clash thanks to his stage win at the Charlotte Roval. Since Dillon is still without a full-time ride for 2021 and Bubba Wallace didn’t qualify, 23XI Racing decided to take the opportunity to get as much experience as they can. Dillon also isn’t a complete wash, he’s a decent road racer and it’ll be a good gauge for the speed this new team carries.

It’s hard not to bet on Chase Elliott with the way he’s been driving on road courses and the fact that he won last year’s race here. The truth is, these exhibition races are a toss up. There’s really only a handful of guys I can honestly say probably won’t have too much of an impact on the race. 

The 2021 Busch Clash will start at 7:00 PM on Fox Sports 1.

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