While the tracks are quiet for the next couple of months, NASCAR officials are hard at work preparing for the debut of the 2021 racing season at Daytona International Speedway.

The 2021 season and Speedweeks will kick off on February 9 with a night time running of the 43rd annual Busch Clash.  And for the first time in the race’s history, the 2021 edition of the race will not be run on the tri-oval at Daytona but on the road course that uses the infield and parts of the tri-oval.  The course is the same one used in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona races.

Earning eligibility to run in the annual Busch Clash has long been tied to winning the pole position in a race; however this past season qualifying was suspended as a part of the safety protocols surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.  As a result, NASCAR has altered the criteria for entrance into the race.

In order to be a part of the 2021 Busch Clash drivers must:
won a pole in 2020 prior to the shutdown in March
be a past Busch Pole winner and a full time driver in 2020
a Daytona 500 winner who ran full time in 2020
a previous Busch Clash winner who ran full time in 2020
and Playoff drivers, race winners, and stage winners from the 2020 racing season

Under the new criteria, 24 drivers are eligible to race in the Busch Clash on the road course; however, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson have retired from NASCAR.  Bowyer will be a part of the broadcasting team for FOX Sports.

Eligible drivers for the 2021 Busch Clash are:
Aric Almirola
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Clint Bowyer
Chris Buescher
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Cole Custer
Matt DiBenedetto
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
2020 NASCAR champion Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Erik Jones
Matt Kenseth
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Ryan Newman
Tyler Reddick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr