Speedweeks in Daytona officially gets kicked off on Tuesday night with the Busch Clash at the Daytona Road Course. 21 drivers will take part in this exhibition race, which is going to be just 35 laps around the 3.6-mile track. There are no points on the line for this event but this will be a great “practice” for the drivers included, as the Cup Series will be back here for a “real” race in a couple of weeks (on February 21st).

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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at the Daytona Road course specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.

Before We Get To The Algorithm…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers

Ricky Stenhouse Jr Kyle Busch Michigan Pit Road
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Kyle Busch – Fair warning: the algorithm absolutely hates Kyle Busch–and let me explain why. We have a very limited amount of race data when it comes to these “rovals,” with a road course being combined with the typical oval. And Kyle Busch has performed horribly in every single one of these races. Here at the Daytona Road Course, Rowdy had a fast car last year but flat spotted his tires early, then spun on lap 25, and then was running 2nd with 17 laps to go and suffered a brake rotor problem. At the Charlotte ROVAL, Busch has made three starts and has finished 30th or worse each time. The guy is a very talented road course racer, though, so take his algorithm ranking here with a very large grain of salt.

Erik Jones – Was it the equipment that gave Erik Jones a boost on road courses, or pure talent? In 2021, Erik will be piloting the #43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports, which is a significant step down from the #20 Toyota from Joe Gibbs Racing he was running for the last three seasons. The algorithm likes Jones quite a bit for Tuesday night’s race, and there should be no question why: he’s finished top 5 in the last two Watkins Glen races, top 8 in the last two Sonoma races, and came home 3rd in last year’s Charlotte ROVAL race. Erik finished 11th here at the Daytona Road Course last season. Like I said, though, be mindful of that equipment downgrade.

Daytona Road Course Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order

RankDriverPower
Index
1.Elliott, Chase45.63
2.Truex, Jr., Martin40.50
3.Hamlin, Denny38.20
4.Byron, William36.41
5.Logano, Joey36.24
6.Blaney, Ryan27.80
7.Bowman, Alex22.70
8.Busch, Kurt21.51
9.Keselowski, Brad16.87
10.Harvick, Kevin09.10
11.Jones, Erik07.55
12.Busch, Kyle-01.79
13.DiBenedetto, Matt-10.48
14.Buescher, Chris-12.36
15.Reddick, Tyler-15.73
16.Custer, Cole-16.93
17.Dillon, Austin-17.57
18.Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky-19.38
19.Almirola, Aric-24.48
20.Newman, Ryan-27.92
21.Dillon, Ty-32.04
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.