After an unforgettable Daytona 500 last Sunday to begin the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, the teams and drivers will return to Daytona International Speedway once again this weekend. This time, however, they will race on the Daytona Road Course. This marks the second edition of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race. Road course races requires a special type of skillset on the part of the drivers behind the wheel. No one has proven better at this style of racing than defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott.
This article contains all of the vital information necessary to get you ready for the second race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Read on for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 start time, starting grid, fast facts and statistics.
NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona Road Course
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Race Info
2nd O’Reilly Auto Parts 253
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021
Start Time: 3 p.m. EST
Track: Daytona International Speedway Road Course — Daytona Beach, FL
Pole Sitter: Chase Elliott
Defending Champion: Chase Elliott
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Race Details
Distance: 253 miles
Lap Length: 3.61 miles (5.81 kilometers)
Stages: Three (Laps 1-16; Laps 17-34; Laps 35-70)
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Starting Grid
See below for a breakdown of qualifying.
|Starting Position||Driver||Car Number||Team||Manufacturer|
|1||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|2||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske||Ford|
|3||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|4||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|5||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|6||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|7||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske||Ford|
|8||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|9||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|10||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|11||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|12||Chris Buescher||22||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|13||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|14||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske||Ford|
|15||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet|
|16||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|17||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|18||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|19||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing||Toyota|
|20||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|21||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet|
|22||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|23||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|24||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing||Ford|
|25||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|26||Cody Ware||51||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|27||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports||Ford|
|28||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|29||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet|
|30||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford|
|31||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|32||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|33||Timmy Hill||66||MBM Motorsports||Ford|
|34||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|35||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|36||Josh Billicki||52||Rick Ware Racing||Ford|
|37||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford|
|38||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet|
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Qualifying Overview
Following the virus-caused interruption to racing last season, NASCAR did away with practice and qualifying runs at the majority of races. A combination of grouped draws and a performance-metrics formula were used to determine starting lineups. That same formula remains in place for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season beginning with this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 road course race. The Daytona 500 underwent it’s standard qualifying procedures last week time trials and the Bluegreen Vacations Duel.
So, what exactly is involved in the performance-metrics formula? Well, it draws on a number of factors including individual race performances and seaosn-long results. The following breakdown illustrates the weighted grades associated with each component of NASCAR’s metrics formula:
NASCAR Cup Series Metrics Formula Breakdown
- 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
- 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
- 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
- 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Stats and NASCAR Betting Facts
- Chase Elliott won the inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 with an average speed of 89.39 mph.
- Among the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series tracks, the Daytona Road Course is second only to Road America (4.048 miles) in lap length.
- Last year’s race was only 235 miles in length. Due to New York virus restrictions, NASCAR moved the Go Bowling 235, which was originally scheduled to be run at Watkins Glen International.
- The 2020 race saw 13 different lead changes among six different drivers.
- Last year’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race had four cautions for a total of seven laps run under yellow.
- Chase Elliotts has won the last four NASCAR Cup Series points races on road course tracks.
- The race was not even originally scheduled to be run this year. Due to California virus regulations, NASCAR opted to cancel the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway and run on the Daytona Road Course instead.