Let’s Clash… Rolling out the red carpet in Los Angeles, NASCAR kicks off its 75th Anniversary in true Hollywood fashion when engines roar for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum this Sunday, February 5 at the quarter-mile, asphalt oval inside the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This weekend’s Clash at the Coliseum marks the 45th running of the annual non-points exhibition race, with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum serving as just the third venue for the event since its inception in 1979.
Richard Childress Racing in the Clash… Richard Childress Racing has earned nine wins in the Clash, six by Dale Earnhardt (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, and 1995) and three by Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010 and 2013). In last season’s inaugural event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Austin Dillon led RCR with a third-place finish.
New Qualifying Format for 2023… Although 36 drivers will make the cross-country trek to California to attempt to win at the legendary Los Angeles venue, only 27 will make it through to the 150 lap main event. Each driver has three chances to qualify for the feature.
There will be four heat races (25 laps each) consisting of 10 drivers each. The top five finishers in each heat will advance to run in the main event, filling 20 positions on the final grid.
Positions 21 through 26 in the starting lineup will be set by drivers that have raced their way in by finishing in the top-three in either of the two last chance qualifier races (50 laps each).
The 27th and final position in the main event is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2022 Cup Series season point standings who did not transfer on finishing position in the heat races or last chance qualifier races.
Catch the Action… The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be televised live Sunday, February 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, with the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 carrying the live radio broadcast.
Kyle Busch and the No. 8 BetMGM Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum… Kyle Busch led the most laps (64 of 150) on his way to a second-place finish in the inaugural event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2022. His average running position in the race was a sizzling 1.65 – best of any driver. Busch has two Clash wins (2012 and 2021), and could become the first driver to win the Clash on three different track designs (superspeedway, road course and short track) should he win in 2023.
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Meet Busch… Busch and his RCR teammate, Austin Dillon, are scheduled to participate in a Q&A session hosted by Riki Rachtman on Sunday, February 5 at 11:15 a.m. local time at the Christmas Tree Lane Stage outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
KYLE BUSCH QUOTES:
What are the keys to running well at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum?
“Obviously, having a fast car is good but to have a fast car you have to be fast while going slow. You’re probably out of the throttle just as much as you’re in the throttle at the Clash and the amount of time in which you’re on the brakes is going to be very important to making sure you’re not on them too much but still able to get the car slowed down enough in order to make it turn for the middle of the corner and exit for the next straightaway.”
Can you compare racing at the Coliseum to any place you’ve raced at in the past?
“Racing at the Coliseum is most similar to a place in Canada that I raced at once before, Autodrome Chaudiere, which is a tight little quarter-mile track. It had a little bit of banking, so the Coliseum being so flat is a little bit new compared to that. There’s also another place in Los Angeles that’s not too far away which is called San Bernadino Speedway. There’s a little quarter-mile, flat racetrack there that I raced Legends cars at years and years ago. Had a lot of fun and won a race there. I feel like I’m using some of that for racing at the Coliseum.”
How challenging is it to qualify well at the Clash?
“Last year for us it was really good. I was able to qualify first and ran second for majority of the race. We had a good race but came up a tick short. Qualifying well at the Clash is important as much as it is challenging because it’s only two laps and you’ve got to hit your marks. It’s hard to know how hard you hit the corner and how much you really give it on exit to not spin the tires too much. It is a challenge, but it’s also very important because it can set up your track position for the whole rest of the event.”
How important is it for NASCAR to kick off the season in Los Angeles?
“I think it’s great to get an opportunity to go out to Los Angeles and kick off the season. I think that it kind of wakes the Los Angeles crowd up a little bit for when we come back out there for Fontana. Might get them a little interested to come back out and see NASCAR again at Fontana but it also gives newer fans people the opportunity to see us in LA and sometimes they won’t really venture out too far out to go somewhere to see an event so it’s nice to have one right there in the meat of the city and also get the attention of nothing really on television during that weekend with the NFL taking the weekend off before the Super Bowl.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!