This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
The 2021 NASCAR season kicks off with the annual exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway, the Busch Clash, on Tuesday. Most fantasy racing leagues don't recognize this NASCAR exhibition event in the fantasy racing season, but some do along with many daily fantasy racing games and racing pools that form specifically for this race and its unique format.
The Busch Clash is a much shorter race than the 500-mile event the following Sunday, the Daytona 500. In fact, new for this season, the Cup Series will race this exhibition event on the road course at Daytona. This new wrinkle will put some new faces at the front of the pack, and potentially a new driver in victory lane. Thanks to the one-million-dollar purse that is paid to the field, and around $200,000 of that to the winner of this event, the competition seen in this exhibition race in some ways will be more heated than what we will witness in parts of the Daytona 500 the following week.
The racing consists of a 35-lap event that equates to 126.35 miles of racing on the 3.61-mile Daytona road circuit. The racing is divided into two stages with the break coming at lap 15 and the checkered flag coming at lap 35. The criteria to make the 2021 Busch Clash are based upon the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having competed in the NASCAR Cup Series within the last two seasons:
- Pole winners from the 2020 season.
- Past Busch