CONCORD, N.C. – The 2021 Daytona Speedweeks calendar was announced Wednesday afternoon and will offer an updated schedule with daily on-track action for race fans.
Daytona’s fresh look includes a packed six days of racing, starting with the season-opening Clash and ending with the 63rd running of the DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 14.
Instead of the Clash and qualifying for the DAYTONA 500 taking place the Sunday before the DAYTONA 500, the exhibition race will be held in primetime on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and qualifying will be Wednesday, Feb. 10.
In a new twist, the Clash will be run on Daytona International Speedway’s 3.56-mile road course. It will be the first time stock cars have competed on the circuit, which has hosted motorcycle and sports car races, including the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA.
“Having driven on the road course at Daytona in the Rolex 24, I know how difficult the circuit can be,” said four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and FOX Sports analyst Jeff Gordon. “It will present a real challenge to the drivers and teams, and I’m looking forward to calling what I believe will be a lot of action from the booth.”
Wednesday’s qualifying session will continue to set the front row for the DAYTONA 500, with Thursday’s Duels qualifying races determining the rest of the field for “The Great American Race.”
Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile noted the Clash will help meet increased fan demand for road racing and that the 2021 changes will offer fans a “fuller calendar” with on-track activity each day.
Hendrick Motorsports has won at least one race during Daytona Speedweeks in each of the last seven years, which marks the longest active streak in the NASCAR Cup Series. In 2013 and 2014, the organization captured back-to-back DAYTONA 500s. In 2015, Hendrick Motorsports drivers won both Duel races. One Duel victory was earned in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Four different Hendrick Motorsports drivers have combined to win the Clash on six occasions: Ken Schrader (1989, 1990), Gordon (1994, 1997), Jimmie Johnson (2005) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2008). The organization also holds the record for most DAYTONA 500 pole positions with 13, including eight of the last 12.
The DAYTONA 500 has sold out for the past five years. Fans can purchase their tickets to the 2021 event here.