DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Cars race during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

When is the Daytona 500 in 2021? Date, start time, TV schedule for race and qualifying

The Daytona 500 will kick off the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and feature a mix of new teams like Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing along with more established units such as Hendrick Motorsports, home to defending series champion Chase Elliott.

This year’s Daytona 500, the 63rd running of The Great American Race, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 14, with a start time of 2:30 p.m. ET. TV coverage will be on FOX, with live streaming on FOX Sports Go and the radio call on MRN.

The Daytona 500 culminates Speedweeks, a full schedule of practice, qualifying and racing that includes action from all three NASCAR national series, as well as the ARCA Menards Series. Below is all you need to know for watching the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s crown jewel race:

When is the Daytona 500 in 2021?

  • Date: Sunday, Feb. 14
  • Start time: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX
  • Live stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio: MRN

The FOX broadcast will feature a new voice in the booth as former Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer joins NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon and veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy. FOX is returning to a three-person booth after one year with a two-man setup following the retirement of Darrell Waltrip.

Bowyer and Gordon developed a rapport during broadcasts of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series last season when NASCAR paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. FOX is looking to bring that banter over to NASCAR broadcasts as anticipation builds for the unpredictable Bowyer’s booth debut.

Larry McReynolds, America’s favorite crew chief, will continue to provide analysis for the FOX Sports booth from the network’s Charlotte studios.

Daytona 500 2021 TV schedule

The Daytona 500 culminates Daytona Speedweeks presented by Advent Health, six days of NASCAR action that starts on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with the Busch Clash at Daytona. The 43rd annual exhibition race will run on the 14-turn, 3.61-mile Daytona Road Course for the first time, and it will start under the lights at 7 p.m. ET on FS1. NASCAR drivers can qualify for the Busch Clash in a number of different ways.

Practices and qualifying sessions will return at Daytona. Last season, practices were canceled and lineups were set first by draw and then by a mathematical formula during the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, there will be practice and qualifying at select events, including the Daytona 500, as NASCAR continues to work with state, local and federal officials to ensure the safety of its competitors and spectators.

Here’s a look at the full Cup Series schedule of events for Speedweeks:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9

Event Start time TV channel Live stream Radio
Busch Clash at Daytona 7 p.m. ET FS1 Fox Sports Go MRN
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10

Event Start time TV channel Live stream Radio
First practice 12:05 p.m. ET FS1 Fox Sports Go N/A
Qualifying 7 p.m. ET FS1 Fox Sports Go MRN
  • Thursday, Feb. 11

Event  Start time TV channel Live stream Radio
Duels at Daytona 7 p.m. ET FS1 Fox Sports Go MRN
  • Saturday, Feb. 13

Event Start time TV channel Live stream Radio
Second practice 9:30 a.m. ET FS2 Fox Sports Go N/A
Final practice 12:05 p.m. ET FS1 Fox Sports Go N/A
  • Sunday, Feb. 14

Event Start time TV channel Live stream Radio
Daytona 500 2:30 p.m. ET FOX Fox Sports Go MRN

Daytona 500 2021 qualifying

Setting the lineup is different for the Daytona 500 than any other NASCAR national series event. Busch Pole Qualifying, set for 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 10, on FS1, will determine the front row for the main event. The two fastest times from single-car qualifying will line up on Row 1 on Sunday for the Daytona 500.

The rest of the lineup will mostly be determined by results of Thursday’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels, starting at 7 p.m. ET on FS1. The winner of Duel 1 will line up in Row 2 behind the polesitter, with subsequent finishers in Duel 1 filling the odd-numbered slots throughout the 40-car field.

Meanwhile, the winner of Duel 2 will line up in Row 2 behind the second-fastest car in qualifying, with subsequent Duel 2 finishers filling out the rest of the even-numbered slots. The top Open (non-chartered) cars in Duel 1 and Duel 2 will fill the next slots, with any remaining open spots being filled by the best qualifiers.

All of this will lead to a full lineup for Sunday’s Daytona 500 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

Daytona 500 2021 entry list

This Daytona 500 entry list is unofficial and subject to change:

No. Driver Team
00 Quin Houff StarCom Racing
1 Kurt Busch Chip Gannasi Racing
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske
3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports
6 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing
7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports
8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske
14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing
15 Derrike Cope Rick Ware Racing
16* Kaz Grala Kaulig Racing
17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing
20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing
21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing
22 Joey Logano Team Penske
23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing
24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports
33* Austin Cindric Team Penske
34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports
36* David Ragan Front Row Motorsports
37* Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing
38 Anthony Alfredo Front Row Motorsports
41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing
42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing
43 Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports
47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing
48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports
49* Chad Finchum MBM Motorsports
51 Cody Ware Rick Ware Racing
52 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing
53 TBD Rick Ware Racing
62* Noah Gragson Beard Oil Motorsports
66* Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports
77 Jamie McMurray Spire Motorsports
78 B.J. McLeod Live Fast Motorsports
96* Ty Dillon Gaunt Brothers Racing
99 Daniel Suarez Trackhouse Racing Team

* = Will likely need to race way into Daytona 500