The Busch Clash will move to the Daytona International Speedway road course next season as the centerpiece of an overhaul to Speedweeks.
The season-opening exhibition event for pole winners will be held at night on Tuesday, Feb. 9. It’ll mark the official start of Speedweeks and the debut of NASCAR Cup cars on the track’s road course, which is used for the Rolex 24 and incorporates part of the 2.5-mile oval.
“We continue to look for opportunities to differentiate the Busch Clash from the Daytona 500 and obviously everything we do around Speedweeks is about building toward the 500,” track president Chip Wile told NASCAR.com. “We’ve seen growth year over year with the Busch Clash and that weekend, but to see the resurgence in road-course racing and the excitement around it from the fans, we thought, ‘Why can’t we do this?’ ”
After a wreck-plagued 2020 Clash, NASCAR will have its teams use the current model in next year’s exhibition race instead of the NextGen car. Because of the switchover to the NextGen, teams will be operating with limited fleets of cars to start 2021.
The 2021 Busch Clash will be on the Daytona road course on the Tuesday night prior to the Daytona 500. It will use the 2020 cars (not the NextGen car). Daytona 500 pole qualifying Wednesday with duels Thursday. ARCA-Xfinity doubleheader on day before D500. #nascar @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 4, 2020
The new six-day Speedweeks schedule will begin with the Busch Clash and end with the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14.
Daytona 500 qualifying will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10 with the qualifying races Thursday, Feb. 11 and the truck race Feb. 12. The Xfinity and ARCA races will be held Feb. 13.
“The famed road course at Daytona has a long and storied history with sports cars and motorcycles, and now we can write a new chapter on it with stock cars,” vice president of racing development Ben Kennedy said in a release. “Fans coming to the track will get to see six consecutive days of exciting NASCAR action, with no two days being the same.”
Daytona 500 camping around road course starts Wednesday (Clash is Tuesday night).
— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) March 4, 2020