The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is set to begin on Tuesday with the Busch Clash at Daytona.
Though Tuesday’s exhibition is a non-points race, it should still be a competitive race to start the 2021 season, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s especially true in this event, which last year concluded with only six cars still running after a series of late crashes. Erik Jones was the victorious driver at the 2020 Clash, limping across the finish line with a notably banged-up car.
Ryan Blaney earned the pole for Tuesday’s 35-lap Clash; he is followed by Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and William Byron in the second through fifth positions, respectively.
SN is tracking live updates and highlights from Tuesday’s 2021 Clash at Daytona. Follow along below:
Clash at Daytona 2021: Highlights
All times Eastern
8 p.m.: And another issue on Turn 1! Kurt Busch was the leader and took it too fast. There was no correcting for him. He had to drive back around and is now squarely in last place.
8 p.m.: Reddick’s car stalls coming out of the pit stop in the caution. He’ll start the race in 19th place.
7:55 p.m.: Truex on the call to his crew chief said he simply wasn’t looking for the chicane.
7:54 p.m.: Big oof for Truex. Bowman also heading to the rear for not serving his pass through before the caution.
7:51 p.m.: Lap 15 caution flag is out with Truex in the lead and Hamlin in second place.
7:49 p.m.: Alex Bowman is penalized for going too fast on pit road.
7:47 p.m.: Truex is now in the lead after overtaking Hamlin on the oval on Lap 14.
7:41 p.m.: And disaster for Blaney! He was leading heading into Turn 1 off the green flag, but had too much speed heading into Turn 1, forcing him to overcorrect and collide with Martin Truex Jr. Disastrous blunder. Now Kyle Reddick is in the lead, with Blaney falling to 14th.
7:40 p.m.: Green flag again.
7:39 p.m.: Scratch the previous entry on Logano; he’s moved to the rear coming out of the caution for having too many crew members over the wall.
7:35 p.m.: The majority of racers are taking their pit stop with the caution, including Hamlin. Because this isn’t an event caution, no fuel can be added.
7:34 p.m.: There’s a caution in effect; crews are sweeping at the bus stop, where plenty of dirt has been kicked up by racers.
7:33 p.m.: Logano’s pit crew looking good.
7:28 p.m.: DiBenedetto isn’t the only one pitting; Logano is as well for overheating issues. Kurt Busch is coming in for service as well.
7:27 p.m.: Oh, now Matt DiBenedetto has missed the front chicane turn. He’s served with a stop and go penalty, forcing him to pit on Lap 6. Not ideal.
7:25 p.m.: Hamlin, meanwhile, has led every lap thus far (five through thus far). He has over a second lead over Blaney in second place.
7:20 p.m.: And now Kevin Harvick is in the grass exiting the bus stop on Lap 3. No caution. He’s in last place heading into Lap 4.
7:19 p.m.: Looks like Joey Logano already has some nose damage after after hitting the curb on the front straightaway; the Fox Sports 1 telecast is reporting that he’s talked to his crew chief that the car feels and his handling differently.
7:16 p.m.: Denny Hamlin takes an early lead over pole position holder Ryan Blney coming out of the infield.
7:15 p.m.: And there’s the green flag! Let’s see how the racers adjust to moving through the infield … and they all made it through Turn 1.
7:14 p.m.: Chase Elliott, originally slated to start at the seventh position, has been moved to the rear by NASCAR for inadmissable adjustments to his car.
7:09 p.m.: Engines fired:
7:04 p.m.: Our first look at Clint Bowyer in the Nascar on Fox booth:
Clash at Daytona start time 2021
Clash at Daytona 2021: Format, lineup, entry list
The Busch Clash is scheduled for 35 laps (126.3 miles), with a scheduled caution at Lap 15. Drivers for the invitational must meet at least one of the following criteria to compete:
Twenty-four drivers were eligible to race in the Clash after the end of the 2020 Cup Series season, but three won’t race on Tuesday: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.
Below is the starting lineup for the 2021 Busch Clash at Daytona, the positions for which were drawn at random on Monday.
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