CONCORD, N.C. -- The offseason is now over. Racing returns this weekend, and it begins with Saturday night's exhibition race, The Clash.
Below is everything you need to know about the thrilling, unofficial season kickoff before the green flag flies.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Saturday's race will air live on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to a television? Tune into MRN or SiriusXM to catch The Clash radio coverage. The excitement will continue on Sunday, Feb. 19, with Daytona 500 qualifying at 1 p.m. -- airing on FOX. The full weekend schedule can be seen below.
Friday, Feb. 17
5 p.m. ET: First The Clash practice
6:30 p.m. ET: Final The Clash practice
Saturday, Feb. 18
11:30 a.m. ET: First Daytona 500 practice
8 p.m. ET: The Clash
Sunday, Feb 19
3:10 p.m. ET: Daytona 500 qualifying
THIS WEEK'S PAINT SCHEMES: For The Clash, Chase Elliott will pilot the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, Jimmie Johnson will drive the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS and Alex Bowman will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS.
THE CLASH FORMAT: The non-points event consists of 75 laps and will be broken up into two segments, with a competition caution at Lap 25 splitting the stages. Drivers eligible for the field include only 2016 pole award winners, former Clash winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016 and the 16 drivers that made the postseason in 2016.
ELLIOTT IN THE CLASH: The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will make his debut in The Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18. Elliott secured his entry into the 75-lap exhibition race with his 2016 Daytona 500 pole award.
LONE CLASH WIN: Johnson has one win in The Clash. The lone victory in the non-points event came at the start of the 2005 season when the race format was reserved for pole position winners who qualified from the previous season.
BOWMAN IN THE CLASH: After earning the pole award at Phoenix International Raceway last November while filling in for Earnhardt in the No. 88 Chevrolet, Bowman became eligible for The Clash at Daytona International Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr., cleared to return for 2017, offered Bowman the chance to drive the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS in the preseason exhibition race as a thank-you of sorts for Bowman’s efforts filling in for him for 10 races last season. Earnhardt felt Bowman had earned the opportunity to compete in The Clash after his pole effort. The 23-year-old Bowman has made three previous Cup starts at Daytona with a best finish of 13th in the July 2014 race. It will mark the Tucson, Arizona, native’s first appearance in The Clash.
BRINGING IT TO THE BOOTH: Earnhardt may not be behind the wheel during The Clash, but he won’t be missing any of the action. The two-time Clash winner will be serving as a guest driver analyst in the FOX Sports broadcast booth alongside Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon during FS1’s live coverage of The Clash on Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET. Earnhardt has experience in the television booth, as he served as an analyst for an XFINITY race for FOX Sports and two Cup races for NBC Sports last season.