NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway have announced that the unofficial season opener will return to its roots, sort of.
In recent years the race has been known as the Sprint Unlimited, and the Budweiser Shootout before that. But, the more traditional fans will remember it as the Busch Clash, or simply “The Clash” which is exactly what it will be known as in the 2017 edition.
The race will be held on February 18 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway and will begin at 8 p.m. Using the same format as recent years, it will consist of 75 laps split into two segments; a 25-lap opening segment, followed by a 50-lap run to the finish.
But, departing from previous years, the entrants will not be predetermined. The 2017 field will consist of drivers who meet certain criteria. They are; 2016 Pole Award winners, former winners of the Clash race, former winners of the Daytona 500 pole who competed full-time in 2016, and all drivers who were qualified for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
20 drivers are eligible for the 2017 edition, they are:
Greg Biffle (2016 Pole Award)
Alex Bowman (2016 Pole Award)
Kurt Busch (2016 Pole Award)
Kyle Busch (2016 Pole Award)
Austin Dillon (2016 Pole Award)
Carl Edwards (2016 Pole Award)
Chase Elliott (2016 Pole Award)
Denny Hamlin (2016 Pole Award)
Kevin Harvick (2016 Pole Award)
Jimmie Johnson (2016 Pole Award)
Matt Kenseth (2016 Pole Award)
Brad Keselowski (2016 Pole Award)
Joey Logano (2016 Pole Award)
Martin Truex, Jr. (2016 Pole Award)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (former Clash Winner)
Tony Stewart (former Clash Winner)
Danica Patrick (former Daytona 500 pole winner)
Chris Buescher (2016 Chase)
Kyle Larson (2016 Chase)
Jamie McMurray (2016 Chase)