The drivers of the NASCAR Cup Series are going back to Daytona International Speedway for the second week in a row. This time they will be taking on the twists and turns of the Daytona Road Course, a track they raced on last Tuesday in the Busch Clash. This marks the second edition of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race.
The following will provide an overview of the Daytona Road Course and a look at the full weekend racing schedule on tap for Week 2 of the 2021 NASCAR season.
Daytona Road Course Overview
Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959. The Daytona Road Course is longer than the oval as the 13-turn road course is 3.61 miles in length. NASCAR adds another turn onto the course as they have another chicane on the front stretch. This brings the total number of turns in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 to 14. The turns are banked at 31 degrees and the tri-oval is 18 degrees.
This is only the second time that the NASCAR Cup Series is racing on the Daytona Road Course as they had to replace Watkins Glen last year. Chase Elliott won the only race on the layout last year. He came close to winning the Busch Clash last week too. Kyle Busch earned the win in the second race on the road course with a last-lap pass.
Daytona Road Course Not Yet a Permanent NASCAR Track
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 is actually a replacement for the Auto Club 400. Due to COVID-19, California did not want to have the race at Auto Club Speedway. The Daytona Road Course was open this weekend and, in theory, warmed up, so why not race here again?
This weekend’s race will probably determine whether or not NASCAR puts the road course on the schedule permanently moving forward. The track is a fine replacement host, but NASCAR needs to decide if they will continue to race here on an annual basis.
NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona Road Course | Weekend Racing Schedule
Brakes Best Select 159
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoor Trucks
Date: Friday, Feb. 19, 2021
Start Time: 7 p.m. EST
Distance: 159 miles
Super Start Batteries 188
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021
Start Time: 5 p.m. EST
Distance: 188 miles
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021
Start Time: 3 p.m. EST
Distance: 253 miles