NASCAR’s season kickoff race looked a little different this year, as the Daytona Road Course played host to the annual Clash event for the first time on Tuesday night. The new format saw a chaotic race from start to finish, with Ryan Newman driving the Guaranteed Rate Ford Mustang to a 14th-place finish.
Historically the exhibition event has been held on the oval at Daytona, but NASCAR elected to move the event to the road course in 2021 as a preview of several new road course events on the schedule.
Newman rolled off 11th for the 35-lap event, and worked on the feel of his Ford Mustang early. At the competition caution at lap 15 he maintained his position in 11th, and a quick stop by his crew moved him up to eighth after the first yellow. Just a lap later though, he was tagged on corner exit of one of the many turns on the road course, relegating him nearly to the tail end of the field.
From there, Newman and the Guaranteed Rate team continued working on the handling on the No. 6 and battled back inside the top 15 to finish 14th.
The Daytona focus now shifts to Wednesday night, where Daytona 500 qualifying takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET. The single-car session will set the front row for Sunday’s Daytona 500, while the remainder of the field will set the lineup for Thursday’s Duels, which are set for 7 p.m. on FS1.