LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 6: Joey Logano, driver of the # 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates it with a burnout after hitting the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 6, 2022 in Los Angeles, California , won it. (Photo by Sean Gardner / Getty Images) | Getty Images
At the end of a transformative NASCAR experience that took the City of Angels by storm, Joey Logano held back hard-loading pole winner Kyle Busch to triumph in Sunday’s Busch Light Clash at the Colosseum.
Logano took the lead on Round 116, moments before Kyle Larson retaliated against Justin Haley for earlier contact that was not Haley’s fault. Larson steers to the bottom of the track and bumps Haley’s Chevrolet into the concrete jersey barrier on the front porch.
In the competitive debut of the Next Gen race car, Logano took control of the race for the restart on Round 117 and took first place to the finish, with Busch frustrated in his pursuit on the quarter-mile track built for NASCAR. Cup Series event at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as part of NASCAR’s daring outing to downtown LA
“I can not believe it,” Logano rejoiced after the race. “Was here. The LA Coliseum. We won the old Shell / Pennzoil Mustang. It’s a great opportunity. Congratulations, NASCAR. Such a big step in our industry to be able to do that has a great race offered to everyone.
“I am out of breath. I was so excited about this. This is a great victory. My wife will have a baby tomorrow, our third one, such a nice big weekend for us. ”
It was an exhibition race – but what an exhibition. Rapper Pitbull, who owns Trackhouse Racing alongside Justin Marks, warmed up the crowd with a 45-minute set in front of the green flag. At the halfway point in the 150-lap event, teams changed tires and made adjustments to the Next Gen cars while rapper Ice Cube filled the Colosseum with loud, rhythmic music.
A pantheon of California sports stars — including former Southern Cal full-back Reggie Bush and Dodgers driver Dave Roberts — joined NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon in a corps of large marshals and shouted the command to start engines .
The race itself crystallized in a battle between Logano, Busch, Larson and Austin Dillon. After the last restart, Larson briefly took second from Busch, who regained the spot with more than 20 laps over and after Logano chased.
“I was perfectly doing everything I had to do – keep the tires under me,” said Busch, who led a race highlight. “When I got close, I was like, ‘OK, I have to try harder and take a chance’, and just overheated the tires and smoked in three rounds and that was it. Disappointing, of course.
“Get out of here and win the pole, and lead laps, run ahead. The finish turns green and it’s not chaotic and we can not win, so it sucks. Congratulations to my son (Brexton Busch) – he won yesterday. It’s cool. I tried to fit him. These days he wins more than I do, so someone better should send him a contract. ”
Dillon overtook Larson to finish third, and Erik Jones ran fourth after overtaking the reigning Cup Series champion in the final laps. Larson was fifth as William Byron, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, AJ Allmendinger and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10.
Busch took the pole position for the main event with a wire-to-wire victory in Sunday’s first qualifying race, with Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Blaney who joined him in the Clash as second, third and fourth place. completers.
Blaney used his buffer to move past Denny Hamlin to claim the last transfer spot of the opening heat.
In fact, riders who started first won all four heat races, with no one else leading a lap. Tyler Reddick dominated Heat 2 — victory by a full instant — when Chase Briscoe, Dillon and Custer qualified behind him.
Haley rode for Kaulig Racing’s custom NASCAR Cup Series team, and Haley took the third heat, with Byron, Bell and Chase Elliott joining him in the main event. In Heat 4, Logano and Larson ran 1-2, with defending Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell and Jones taking the last two transfer positions.
Hamlin reached the Clash by winning the first of two Last Chance qualifiers, with Harvick and Allmendinger finishing second and third to advance.
If the first LCQ was relatively tame by short track standards, the second was utter chaos. After hitting everything but the lottery, as FOX broadcaster Mike Joy put it, Ty Dillon took the checkered flag but was relegated to the back because he skipped the last restart with three of the 50 laps left.
That gave Ryan Preece the race victory and the last two transfer spots to Bubba Wallace and Harrison Burton, who were twisted while leading in the 47th lap.
The second LCQ had seven warnings and eliminated strong contenders Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman when their cars sustained irreparable damage.
The NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action at Daytona International Speedway from February 15 to 20.
– NASCAR Wire Service –
See complete breed information on the Clash Race Page.