Roush Fenway teammates Ryan Newman (shown above flying through air at end of last year’s Daytona 500) and Chris Buescher will compete in the 2021 Busch Clash exhibition event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course as part of Daytona Speedweeks. The field for the event was announced Tuesday, as NASCAR detailed new eligibility requirements for the exhibition event at ‘The World Center of Racing.’
Newman, who will make his 17th start in the Clash format, is eligible by way of his victory in the 2008 Daytona 500. Buescher, who will make his second appearance in the Clash, is eligible by way of his stage win at Talladega Superspeedway in October, one of the new eligibility requirements for the 2021 event.
The newly announced eligibility requirements for the 2021 edition are: 2020 pole winners, past Clash winners who competed full time in 2020, Daytona 500 Champions who competed full time in 2020, Former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2020 and 2020 NASCAR Playoff drivers, race winners and stage winners.
New to the Clash in 2021 is also the track layout, which will feature the Daytona Road Course, a departure from the tradition 2.5-mile superspeedway track in previous events. As part of the schedule changes in 2020 due to implications from COVID-19, the NCS made a rare third visit to Daytona, hitting the road course in August for the first time in the series’ history. Buescher, a polished road racer in his young career, drove to a fifth-place result while Newman finished 19th.
Roush Fenway has one win in the Clash format after NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin won the event back in 1999. Newman – who enters his 21st season in the Cup Series – sat on the pole for the 2020 Clash after a random draw, and Jack Roush has six poles overall in the event.
The number of laps for the 2021 Clash is still yet to be determined, but will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9, with timing and TV coverage also TBD. The Clash is the kickoff for an action-packed week of racing in Daytona, which features the Duels on Thursday, Feb. 11, leading up to the 63rd Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14.