Tuesday night’s 43rd Annual Busch Clash At DAYTONA will mark the first time that the iconic event will be held on the iconic DAYTONA Road course under the lights, and will continue a long history of incredible moments.
One of the most unique and anticipated events in all of motorsports, the Busch Clash At DAYTONA will mark the first time the traditional exhibition-style event will tackle the track’s 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course, and under the lights with a scheduled a 7:00 p.m. ET start. For information on how to be a part of the 35-lap (scheduled caution on lap 15) log onto www.DAYTONA500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
The starting lineup for the will be determined via a blind draw Monday night during a virtual event on Daytona International Speedway’s Facebook page at 9 p.m. ET (facebook.com/DAYTONA), hosted by NASCAR.com’s Alex Weaver and Speedway President Chip Wile. Crew chiefs for the 21 teams scheduled to compete in the Busch Clash will also be a part of the program.
The 21 drivers eligible to compete in this year’s Busch Clash At DAYTONA are Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Lagano, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Martin Truex.
One of the above will look to make history yet again. As anticipation grows, here are some interesting tidbits from the past of this star-studded event, which was first run on Feb. 11, 1979.
- The initial race saw NASCAR’s “Gentle Giant,” Buddy Baker, go to Victory Lane.
- The number of participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009.
- In total, 117 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have competed in the Busch Clash At DAYTONA; 89 of the 117 have participated in more than one.
- Mark Martin leads all competitors with 24 starts while 2-time DAYTONA 500 Champion Bill Elliott, father of reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott, has 23. Jeff Gordon is the only other driver with more than 20 starts, at 22 (all consecutive).
- Of today’s active warriors, Kurt Busch leads the field with 17 (Jimmie Johnson has 18 but will not compete Tuesday).
- A total of 24 drivers have won the Busch Clash At DAYTONA.
- Dale Earnhardt, Sr. leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Busch Clash victories with six (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).
- Denny Hamlin (2006, 2014, 2016), who will be gunning for a record third straight DAYTONA 500 triumph on Sunday, and Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013), lead all active drivers in Busch Clash At DAYTONA wins with three each.
- Seven of the entries this year are former winners of the Busch Clash, led by Harvick and Hamlin with three wins each, along with one-time victors Keselowski, Logano, Kyle and Kurt Busch, as well as defending champion Jones.
- There have been 10 multiple winners in the Busch Clash At DAYTONA.
- Neil Bonnett, Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart and Harvick are the only drivers to win back-to-back Busch Clash At DAYTONA races. No driver has ever won three straight.
- The closest margin of victory is .013 second by Kyle Busch of Stewart in 2012.
- Six times in the 42-year history of the race has the Busch Clash winner gone on to win the Great American Race: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000), Gordon (1997), (2016).
Tuesday, the drivers will compete on the same course (with the lone addition of a NASCAR fourth-turn chicane) as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, North America’s premier sports car race. The road course was introduced to NASCAR’s top three national series this past August for the first time and Chase Elliott took the honors. His thoughts on returning to Daytona?
“I’m looking forward to getting the season started,” said the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. This is always very exciting week. I feel like every time I get to Daytona, I’m excited and ready to get started. It’s a great week for our sport.”