Los Angeles, CA–It was an “all systems go” type of spirit at this weekend’s NASCAR Busch Light Clash Series at the world famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in celebration of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary. Stars of the big screen, music, and speedway spruced up the venue from Rob Lowe, Wiz Khalifa, and Caleb Williams all in preparation for Sunday’s competition but the elite lineup of contenders ready to burn rubber was the hot topic of Saturday’s festivities.
Indiana’s number 31 Justin Haley won the Busch Light Pole award ripping a 13.413 second lap around the quarter-mile practice run sealing his top position for Sunday’s race followed by Two-time series champion Kyle Busch coming in a hot second, Joe Gibbs Racing’s 2022 champ Christopher Bell in at third and Hendrick Motorsport’s William Byron in at fourth heat race.
The main event jumped off in full swing after Sunday’s green flag and it was a tight stretch from the start with number 10 Ford Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyota number 19 Martin Truex Jr. going neck to neck on turn two locking wheels before Legacy Motor Club’s number 43 Erik Jones took a spin at lap 17 apparently hitting the wall causing the first of many caution flags.
Team Penske’s number 12 Ryan Blaney also spiraled after getting tapped by a multiple pile up on lap 24 along with Hendrick Motorsport’s number 9 Chase Elliot having possible part issues and Joe Gibbs Racing’s number 54 Ty Gibbs not racing at his best after his Monster Toyota Camry caught fire during Saturday’s practice session.
Third caution flag came by Kaulig Racing’s number 16 A.J. Allmendinger on lap 43 right before the race regained its momentum while Richard Childress Racing’s number 3 Austin Dillon and Hendrick Motorsports’ number 24 William Byron took their crack at each other after Dillon nudged Byron to gain a top three spot by lap 65.
23XI Racing’s speed protege number 23 Bubba Wallace looked good challenging number 19 Truex Jr. in front of the packed arena for most of his leading 40 laps but wound down after colliding with number 3 Dillon late in the race knocking his contending shot for the win.
After an exciting 150 laps and 16 cautions Joe Gibbs’ Martin Truex Jr. copped the win earning him his first NASCAR Cup Series victory alongside Austin Dillon at second place and Kyle Busch at third. “Tonight, was just kind of persevere, not give up and just battle through and we found ourselves in the right spot at the end. Sometimes they work out your way and sometimes they don’t. Tonight, it went our way”, said Truex Jr. The big three shared the podium festivities, the first ever in NASCAR history.
Next up: The NASCAR Daytona 500 Sunday, February 19th at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.