NASCAR at Daytona live updates, results, highlights from 2021 road course race

By | February 21, 2021

NASCAR is heading back to the Daytona International Speedway for the second time in as many weeks on Sunday, this time for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 road race.

This is the second year NASCAR has included the race in its Truck, Xfinity and Cup series races due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Chase became the course’s first winner in 2020 and will now try to replicate that feat.

Elliott holds the pole position heading into Sunday’s race, but that’s not the only advantage he has ahead of the Daytona race: He has won at NASCAR’s last four road courses, leading a total of 176 laps in that span. Another win Sunday will put him within one race of tying Jeff Gordon’s record-six consecutive road course wins.

Elliott’s No. 9 car has already seen some success on the course this year, as well; he finished second in the Clash at Daytona, behind Kyle Busch. Sunday’s field will include 21 total drivers who drove in the unofficial opener for the 2021 NASCAR season. Busch comes in at the No. 14 position ahead of Sunday’s race; Michael McDowell, who last Sunday won the Daytona 500, is second.

MORE: Watch today’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Sporting News is tracking live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s road course race at Daytona. Follow for complete results from the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.

NASCAR at Daytona live updates, highlights from road course race

All times Eastern

5:19 p.m.: Elliott is still comfortably in the lead with 23 laps remaining (but Bill in hot pursuit behind him). He has led 34 of 47 laps.

5:08 p.m.: And now Kurt Busch hits Keselowski from behind him, forcing the latter to spin out.

5:07 p.m.: Elliott retakes the lead heading into Turn 1.

5:06 p.m.: Bell, Elliott and Truex Jr. make up the top three after Kurt Busch’s mishap.

5:04 p.m.: There goes Kurt Busch’s lead; he hits the curb coming out of Turn 3, causing him to spin out and slide through the grass all the way to Turn 5. He’s now in 25th. No caution.

5:03 p.m.: And now Kurt Busch takes over the lead position in Lap 38. Elliott moves up to fourth.

4:59 p.m.: Daniel Suarez, DiBenedetto and Kurt Busch take positions 1-3, respectively heading into the restart. Elliott is at sixth; Hamlin and Bell are fourth and fifth.

4:52 p.m.: Good portion of the field pits under caution on Lap 36.

4:48 p.m: Denny Hamlin wins Stage 2, with Elliott coming in sixth. Here are the other top-10 finishers for the stage:

4:46 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. locks up heading into the frontstretch chicane, losing a couple of positions. in the process. No need to pit, however. And now Elliott’s right on his rear.

4:43 p.m.: And there’s Elliott climbing the positions; he’s now seventh.

4:42 p.m.: Bubba Wallace’s car locks up and he’s forced to pit; no caution necessary.

4:38 p.m.: Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson take the top three positions in the restart; Elliott starts at 11 but falls back to two positions to 13th.

4:37 p.m.: Chastain’s day is finished.

4:33 p.m.: We’re on Lap 13 of 18 in the second stage; a good portion of the field, meanwhile, pits under caution.

4:31 p.m.: And now Tyler Reddick’s car has slowed to a crawl on the oval. Not sure what the issue is there.

4:29 p.m.: We’re under our fourth caution as Ross Chastain’s car hit the wall coming out of Turn 6. He was 20th at the time the yellow flag waved; he has some damage to his car — looks like his suspension — but is able to drive off. Now he’s trying to get to pit row as quickly as possible without tearing up his car.

4:24 p.m.: Keselowski, 11th, misses the backstretch chicane and had to make a stop. He lost three positions and is now 14th.

4:15 p.m.: No issues for the field in any of the first six turns out back onto the oval; racing’s getting a little smoother.

4:13 p.m.: Elliott, Logano and Hamlin hold the top three positions heading into the restart.

4 p.m.: Elliott picks up right where he left off on road courses, winning Stage 1 handily. Here are the other drivers who earned points:

3:54 p.m.: Christopher Bell is first coming out of the restart but Elliott quickly jumps back out to the lead with just three laps remaining in the stage. Keselowski and Joey Logano — who were at the center of the Daytona 500 crash — are behind him in the second and third positions, respectively.

3:47 p.m.: We’re under our second caution with five laps left in the stage; Brad Keselowski’s car seemed to lock up, resulting in a flat tire. Matt DiBenedetto suffered considerable damage to his car as well.

3:42 p.m.: Elliott, meanwhile, has a notable lead over second-place Hamlin; 4, going on 5 seconds on Lap 10.

3:41 p.m.: Brief moment between Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger as the latter brake-checked Blaney on the oval.

3:35 p.m.: Chase Briscoe falls to the rear after spinning out on the frontstretch chicane; the entire field pretty much had to take evasive maneuvers around him as his car sat idle. No caution, though; he wheels around and continues racing.

3:31 p.m.: And we’re back on Lap 4 of 70. Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin are in the top three positions coming out of the caution.

3:27 p.m.: One lap in and we’re already under caution for debris. Kyle Busch is in the pit getting some work done on his car; McDowell is also getting his car looked at.

3:21 p.m.: Michael McDowell is the first driver — but not the only one — to overshoot Turn 1. The Daytona 500 winner loses position immediately. Kyle Busch seems to have sustained some damage to his front right tire as well.

3:13 p.m.: It’s about that time.

NASCAR race start time today

  • Date: Sunday, Feb. 21
  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET (Green flag at 3:20 p.m. ET)
  • TV channel: Fox (TSN5 in Canada)
  • Live stream: Fox Sports Go | fuboTV (7-day free trial)

The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course is scheduled to wave at 3:20 p.m. ET.

Although NASCAR will race on the Daytona Road Course on Sunday even if it gets wet, there still will be weather-related threats: If the rain is too heavy, if there is lightning in the area or if there is too much water on the course. The weather forecast for Daytona Beach, Fla., on Sunday is partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-60s and about a 15 percent chance of precipitation.

NASCAR at Daytona starting lineup

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race on the Daytona Road Course was determined through a mathematical formula NASCAR adopted late in the 2020 season. The same procedure for setting lineups without qualifying is set to be used for the majority of races in 2021.

The formula produced this starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race on the Daytona Road Course:

Pos. Driver Car No. Team
1. Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
2. Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
3. Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
4. Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
5. Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6. Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
7. Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
8. Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
9. Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
10. Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
11. Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
12. Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
13. Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
14. Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
15. Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
17. Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
18. Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
19. Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
20. Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
21. Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
22. William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
23. Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
24. Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
25. Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
26. Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
27. Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
28. Scott Heckert 78 Live Fast Motorsports
29. Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
30. Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
31. Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
32. Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
33. Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
34. AJ Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
35. Daniel Suarez 99 TrackHouse Racing
36. Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
37. Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
38. Ty Dillon 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing
39. James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
40. Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management