2021 Daytona 500 Still Shrouded in Doubt Amid Concerns Over Date Clash

Published 01/21/2021, 6:38 AM EST
Chase Elliott (24) celebrates in front of grandstand after winning the first of two NASCAR qualifying auto races for Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is set to begin next month, with the Daytona 500 kick-starting everything on February 14. However, there is a danger of a clash, so the sport has released a tentative weekend schedule.

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Even before the Daytona 500, there is the annual Busch Clash. The race always kicks off at the Daytona International Speedway road course before the 500. This year’s edition is scheduled to commence on February 9.

From there, the NASCAR community transitions to the Daytona oval for the rest of the weekend. For the moment, it seems that there will be practice and qualifying for the iconic race. The race weekend begins on February 10 with practice and single-lap qualifying.

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On the following day, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series begins its first practice session. Immediately after that, the Cup Series drivers begin the Duels at Daytona to set the Daytona 500 starting field.

How will the rest of the Daytona 500 weekend pan out?

On February 12, the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series begin their respective seasons. Squeezed in between them is the qualifying session for the Truck Series ahead of the season-opening race. Meanwhile, Saturday’s itinerary consists of the ARCA Menards qualifying, two Cup practice sessions, and Xfinity qualifying.

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18 Feb 2001: A general view of the track taken during the Daytona 500 Speedweeks at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport

The next item of business is the ARCA and Xfinity Series races, one after the other. Finally, Sunday arrives and wraps up the weekend with the Cup Series Daytona 500.

Furthermore, the uncertainty does not stop there, as NASCAR has also released a tentative schedule for the following weekend. This is when the NASCAR paddock switches to the Daytona road course for the second points races from February 19 to 21.

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Not helping matters is the fact that there is a danger of a clash with the Super Bowl. Considering that these are the two biggest events in the United States, fans may be forced to choose one over the other.

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Dhruv George

11433 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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