Don’t Overreact About Who Wins NASCAR Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read


  • Success in the season-opening Clash hasn’t been a great predictor of early season success in the Cup Season.
  • Joey Logano won in Los Angeles in 2022, but didn’t win again in the Cup Series until May.
  • In 2022, only four drivers who finished in the top 10 in the Clash placed in the top 10 in the series final point standings.

Those suffering NASCAR withdrawal pains the last two months will receive relief Sunday when the 36 NASCAR charter teams roll out their 2024 entries for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, but don’t expect the event to provide much insight into this year’s title contenders.

The non-points event which began in 1979 at Daytona as a showcase of the previous season’s pole winners, is now a NASCAR initiative to attract new fans. In its third year at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the event has shown NASCAR can use any venue to construct a temporary track. It has allowed NASCAR to maintain its presence in the No. 2 TV market as well as the city that is the primary base for Fox Sports division’s headquarters.

This year, NASCAR is pairing its Mexico Series with the Clash in a city that has a 49% Hispanic or Latino population.

However, if you plan on betting on NASCAR events this year, don’t rely on the Clash to provide much insight into the season. Joey Logano did win the Clash and go on to claim the Cup Series championship 2022. However, after winning the Clash, he didn’t emerge victorious in another event until May at Darlington. Logano won three more races that year foer a total of four victories, his most since 2020 when he won three events.

Martin Truex Jr. won the Clash last year. While it was a morale boost for the Joe Gibbs Racing team that was winless in 2022, Truex, like Logano the previous season, didn’t win another event until May. His first points victory last year came in the rain-delayed Dover race. He eventually totaled three victories in 2023 and claimed the regular season championship. However, he stumbled in the playoffs and finished 11th in the point standings.

In 2022, only four drivers who finished in the top 10 in the Clash placed in the top 10 in the series final point standings. Last year’s Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney didn’t even finish in the top 10 in the Clash. In fact, he finished 17th. Half of the drivers who finished in the top 10 in the Clash placed in the top 10 in the point standings. Those were Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, and Ross Chastain.

So, for the teams the Clash is nothing more than a preseason shakedown on a quarter-mile track, of which none exist on the regular season schedule. It’s a shakedown that costs a tremendous amount of money due to the movement of cars and personnel cross country two weeks before the season-opening Daytona 500. In other words, for the teams it’s a boondoggle.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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