NASCAR Speedweek Preview: 2020 Daytona Busch Clash Odds and Picks

NASCAR racing is back as Daytona Speedweeks kicks off with a full slate of races across all series capping with the Daytona 500 next week. The NASCAR Cup Series starts its season with the 42nd running of the Busch Clash, which is a race that always needs some explaining.

The Busch Clash Qualifications

The “Clash” is a non-points paying race with a limited field made up of drivers who met one or more of the five qualifying criteria.

1. Busch Pole Award winners from last season.

2. Past “Clash” winners who competed full-time last season.

3. Past Daytona 500 winners who competed full-time last season.

4. Former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time last season.

5. Drivers who qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last season.

That equals twenty of the sports elite drivers qualifying to race in the Clash. It’s 75 laps or 187.5 miles, but the field will only have 18 cars taking the green flag.

Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric both captured Cup Series poles last year but Hemric is racing full-time in the Xfinity Series this season. Suarez lost his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing and landed a seat at Gaunt Brothers Racing.

However, the team announced it would not run The Clash which may be due to the limited number of available cars in its garage. Nothing wrong with saving money on a non-points paying race!


NASCAR 1997 Busch Clash From Daytona | Awesome Race


Drivers in the Clash

The drivers taking part in the 2020 Busch Clash are; Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr.

Here are the favorites to win outright, according to intertops, through +1000:

Joey Logano                        +750

Brad Keselowski            +750

Denny Hamlin                        +1000

Chase Elliott                        +1000

Kyle Busch                        +1000

The fun stat on the eighteen drivers is that all but seven of them have won Cup Series races at Daytona. The ones who have not are Elliott, Blaney, Truex, Bowyer, Bowman, and Larson.

Here are some drivers to target when betting the 2020 Daytona Busch Clash:

Denny Hamlin +1000

Denny Hamlin is the defending Daytona 500 winner, he’s won the 500 twice, and the Clash three times in his career. He’s the JGR driver that seems to be the most productive at Daytona as he has won or finished inside to top-five in four of the last Daytona starts.

His biggest stat when it comes to racing in the Clash for the last four years, is that Hamlin has led almost half (95/229) of all laps run.

Kevin Harvick +1100

Kevin Harvick seemed to have the winning car almost every weekend last season and the season before. Sometimes he was collected in other drivers wrecks and sometimes his team laid an egg when it came to adjustments or pit stops.

Either way, it’s hard to argue that Harvick has not been one of the most dominant drivers over the last few seasons and he may be the best car out of the Stewart – Haas stable this year.

Like Hamlin, Harvick has two Daytona 500 and three Busch Clash wins.

Brad Keselowski +750

I’m going with Brad Keselowski to win the 2020 Busch Clash at Daytona.

Keselowski, and his Team Penski teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, all showed the power that Ford put into the new Cup Series Mustang last season.

The three drivers were upfront during almost every race and all three Penski drivers made it to the 2019 postseason. Keselowski was the one that seemed to have the least amount of issues last year, despite a short stay in the playoffs. But he’s always fast on Superspeedways and has Daytona wins under his belt.

Long Shot: Kyle Busch +1000

I know, Kyle Busch is the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion and he’s hard to bet against. But Daytona International Speedway has not been his friends.

He has one Cup Series Daytona win under his belt which came back in 2008.

However, he’s finished outside of the top-ten sixteen times since then and that includes six DNF’s. The good news for Kyle Busch fans is that he’s generally in the mix of cars towards the front at Daytona and posted a second-place run at the 500 two years ago.

Others I like to Win the 2020 Busch Clash:

Chase Elliott                        +1000

Ryan Blaney                        +1100

2020 Busch Clash Complete Odds

Joey Logano                        +750

Brad Keselowski            +750

Denny Hamlin                        +1000

Chase Elliott                        +1000            

Kyle Busch                        +1000

Ryan Blaney                        +1100

Kevin Harvick                        +1100

Kurt Busch                        +1200

Martin Truex Jr            +1400            

Aric Almirola                        +1600

Clint Bowyer                        +1600

William Byron                        +1600

Jimmie Johnson            +1600

Alex Bowman                        +1600

Kyle Larson                        +2000

Erik Jones                        +2000

Austin Dillon                        +2500

Ryan Newman            +2800

2020 Speedweek On-Track Schedule

Coverage on Fox, FS1, FS2, MRN – Check local listings.

Friday, Feb. 7

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – ARCA practice

3 – 4 p.m. – Final ARCA practice

Saturday, Feb. 8

11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. – Final Busch Clash practice

12:30 p.m. – ARCA qualifying; multi-car

1:35 – 2:25 p.m. – Daytona 500 qualifying practice

3 – 3:50 p.m. – Final Daytona 500 qualifying practice

4:45 p.m. – ARCA Lucas Oil 200; 80 laps/200 miles

Sunday, Feb. 9

12:30 p.m. – Daytona 500 qualifying

3 p.m. – Busch Clash; 75 laps/187.5 miles

Monday, Feb. 10 – Wednesday, Feb. 12

No track activity

Thursday, Feb. 13

4:05 – 4:55 p.m. – Truck practice

5:30 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Truck practice

7 p.m. – Blue Greens Vacation Duel No. 1; 60 laps/150 miles

8:45 p.m. approx. – Blue Greens Vacation Duel No. 2; 60 laps/150 miles

Friday, Feb. 14

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice

3:10 p.m. – Truck qualifying

4:32 – 4:57 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice

5:05 – 5:55 p.m. – Daytona 500 practice

7:30 p.m. – NextEra Energy 250; 100 laps/250 miles

Saturday, Feb. 15

11 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying

12:30 – 1:20 p.m. – Final Daytona 500 practice

2:30 p.m. – NASCAR Racing Experience 300; 120 laps/300 miles

Sunday, Feb. 16

2:30 p.m. – Daytona 500; 200 laps/500 miles

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.