NASCAR to run Daytona Road Course with no practice; Elliott and Harvick comment

“Me leading everyone into turn one at Daytona could be interesting because I have no freaking clue where I’m going,” Kevin Harivck said.

This week, NASCAR is heading back to Daytona. It’s a familiar track to everyone in the field. However, this time, they’ll be running the road course which is familiar to almost none of them.

The track is a 3.57-mile road course that uses part of the oval highbanks. NASCAR will also run the backstretch chicane.

Very few NASCAR drivers have been on the Daytona Road Course, in any form. They’ll drop the green flag and figure it out in turn one as there’s no practice or qualifying sessions for the rest of the season.

Daytona Road Course - NASCAR Layout
Daytona Road Course – NASCAR Layout

Kevin Harvick on the Daytona Road Course

NASCAR has a new format for setting the starting lineup. Kevin Harvick will likely start on the pole position…

“Me leading everyone into turn one at Daytona could be interesting because I have no freaking clue where I’m going,” Kevin Harivck said.

“The last time I only made a little bit of a 2002 24‑hour race, so it’s been a long time since I made any laps there. I’m a week‑of preparation guy, so I’ll start Monday and Tuesday on iRacing just to get acclimated with the track.”

“We’ll go to the simulator on Wednesday, back on iRacing Thursday, Friday, Saturday, just to make sure that it’s fresh in your mind so you know where to shift and things like that, and then it’s just trial and error after that.”

“I’ve watched enough races there that I know the race track in my mind, but I don’t know where our cars need to be and what gear I need to be in. I’ll learn that next week, and we’ll be ready and hopefully have a good day.”

Chase Elliott on the pit lane at Texas Motor Speedway - NASCAR Cup Series
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – JULY 19: The #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, driven by Chase Elliott, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott comments on the Daytona Road Course

Earlier this year, Kyle Busch ran the 24 hour race on the Daytona Road Course.

“I think this weekend’s going to be a big-time challenge for everyone,” Elliott said in a Monday video conference. “I think the one guy that I look at that really has a leg up is Kyle, having come off that 24-hour event this year.”

“Heck, I think if we all knew that we were going to be doing this road course, you probably would have seen all of us trying to get in that 24-hour race this year to go and do it. You never know with things like that.”

“I mean, I’ve never entered a race like that where you literally just have no idea what to expect. Road racing, in my opinion, is a lot about brake markers and visual aids and these little nuances around the track that you can see with your eyes to help your hands and your feet do the right things at the right time.”

iRacing practice

During the break for the pandemic, most of the NASCAR Cup Series field became highly familiar with iRacing. The Daytona Road Course is up and ready to explore via the online racing service. It’s something everyone will use ahead of the trip to Florida.

“I have no idea where I need to stop on Turn 1 on Sunday, or 2, 3, all the way back around to the start-finish line. So I think that’s going to be super, super difficult for everybody, and it’s going to be one of those things where you have to creep up on it, and it’s a hard thing to guess.”

“We can run in the sims and iRacing and all those things until we’re blue in the face, but ultimately that doesn’t — in my opinion — give you those visual aids that you need to do the right things at the right time.”

“The only way to get that is laps around the race track and 65 laps is not really a ton of time to figure those things out. So, learn. Learn fast and try not to make any big-time mistakes in doing it.”


Kevin Harvick | Chase Elliott | Daytona International Speedway | NASCAR