Joey Logano claims the Clash at the LA Coliseum with a victory for the NASCAR Cup Series Team Penske on Sunday afternoon.
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with an exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The current stage for the USC Trojans turned into a quarter-mile short track for one showdown. Every year, this clash sets the tone year and is the first taste of racing before heading to Daytona International Speedway for the first points event. The winner receives bragging rights and momentum heading into the most anticipated week of the season.
Heat and Last Chance Races Set the Field
Four heat races were held where the top four advance into the main event. The first heat was won by Kyle Busch with advancements from Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse, and Ryan Blaney. The second heat was claimed by Tyler Reddick with Chase Briscoe, Austin Dillon, and Cole Custer. In the third heat, Justin Haley was victorious and William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Chase Elliott advanced to the main event. Joey Logano prevailed in the final heat with Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, and Erik Jones moving on.
All other drivers had to race their way in through two last-chance qualifying races. The top three drivers in both LCQ’s move into the main event. Denny Hamlin won the first last call race with Kevin Harvick and AJ Allmendinger following behind. In the second LCQ, Ryan Preece beat out the field with Bubba Wallace and Harrison Burton advancing on as well.
The main event was a 150-lap race with 23 drivers making up the field. Kyle Busch brought the field to the start but quickly gave it up to Tyler Reddick. Reddick held down the fort for 54 laps until he had an issue. He had to come out of the race with a driveline issue. Kyle Busch retook the lead on the restart. Despite receiving pressure from Joey Logano in second, Busch made it to the halfway point in the lead.
After a quick intermission, the race returned to green with 75 laps remaining. Kyle Busch continued to charge on with the lead quickly catching the back of the field. With 35 laps remaining, Ryan Blaney broke his rear suspension after battling with Erik Jones. This brought out the caution bringing the field back together.
On the following restart, Kyle Larson and Justin Haley were going at it. After making contact on the front stretch, Haley wrecked into the inside wall bringing out the bail once more.
Joey Logano Claims the Clash at the LA Coliseum
Joey Logano took the lead from Kyle Busch amid the chaos and restarted the race with the lead. Logano jumped out front with 30 laps remaining and did not bat an eye. He flawlessly led the remaining laps and wins the Busch Clash at The Coliseum.
This year’s clash was a pleasant surprise. It was a unique feel and different from what all race fans are used to. The set-up was great and honestly refreshing. The four heat races and the two last-chance qualifiers contained a lot of action, packed into a short amount of time on the track. This format should be considered for a handful of races on the Cup Series schedule that could make a difference in viewership.
Next Up for the NASCAR Cup Series
The next stop on the Cup Series schedule will kick off the 2022 regular season. It all starts with NASCAR qualifying, practice, and racing events leading up to the Daytona 500.
Qualifying sets the front row for the big race is on February 16th. The two duel races are the following night. The Duels at Daytona will put the rest of the field behind the top-two qualifiers from Wednesday night.
The week offers a lot of action with a highly anticipated kick-off for 2022.