The NASCAR Cup Series begins, for the first time ever, its 2022 schedule with a non-points race on the floor of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, an experiment to attract a new audience one week before the Super Bowl at the nearby SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
This is a good idea in theory, but replacing the soccer field and Olympic track for a flat quarter-mile asphalt layout may have gone too far. Especially since NASCAR will introduce the NextGen car that delivers 670 horsepower and has one hub on the wheels like IndyCar instead of traditional stock cars. It’s also NextGen safety at its best yet, so thumbs up for driver safety.
The 2022 Busch Light Clash is going to be a mess because there is only one groove. A quarter mile flat track with 23 riders crammed together is going to create a lot of wrecks and a lot of bad blood between a few riders which is the type of excitement most of us like, but producing wrecks with a shorter track than any other today race is too calculated. It’s like NASCAR is looking for wrecks to pull in the non-fan.
But the whole idea still got me excited for the festivities to start after a quick winter break from NASCAR. Leave all that damn green flag!
Put on a NASCAR show, and let the boys be boys. Denny Hamlin, you have a score to settle with Alex Bowman. No points lost, slow speed, point him. Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott have a previous score to settle. Let’s get it on. No points, no problem. Every car is going to look like it was in a wreck anyway so nothing to save.
Qualifying between 36 riders will take place on Saturday and then on Sunday morning there will be four 10-lap stage qualifying heat races that will determine the starting order for 23 riders. The Heat races should also yield quite a few wrecks before the 150-lap Busch Light Clash even begins.
“I have no idea what it’s going to be like,” Kyle Busch said. “Top speed will probably be around 60 mph and the low speed in the turns may be 20 mph. It’s going to be action-packed. We are not going to be able to spread out and get away from each other. We’re going to be all over each other’s bumpers and doors. Restarting duplicate files is going to be very stiff, and there are going to be a lot of screens bending and probably hurting feelings.
In other words, yes, it’s going to be a mess. Many wrecks make it a long 150 laps.
But Busch is going to be one of the drivers to beat, as he has the best record on the short lanes on which the Cup series is racing. In 97 short track principles, Busch led 16 wins – 6 more than any other – 49 top-five, and 5,549 laps, all leading the active leaders. Short track racing is in his blood. I never think I saw him lose as a teenager on the? Mile Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch also won the Busch Clash on the Daytona roadway last season.
The second-best short track runner statistically is Denny Hamlin with 10 wins, 40 top-five, and 4,989 laps led between 93 starts. He opened as the +650 favorite at Caesars Books, but defending Cup champion Kyle Larson is now their 5-to-1 favorite after opening up Larson with a 12-on-1 chance. Larson had his best short track season last year and has two wins overall on them. He’s ready to go.
“I participated in several tests with the new Camaro, but last week’s test at Phoenix Raceway was my first with the car with all the changes and updates for the 2022 season,” said Larson. “The test went well, and I look forward to really chasing it.”
The NextGen will deliver 670 horsepower everywhere with spoiler heights changing at different lanes. No more three different types of cars like we’ve seen in the last few seasons with a 550 HP, 750 HP, and 550 HP Superspeedway lineup. Hendrick, Team Penske and Joe Gibbs executives should have an advantage here as they spend more money to get everything perfect.
Team Penske can also be thrown into that group in spending to be fast. Both Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney will be very good this week as long as they stay out of the mud, which will be a lot of it, but newcomer Austin Cindric takes the no. 2 Ford over after Brad Keselowski left to be driver and be part. owner of Roush-Fenway Racing. It’s now RFK Racing with the K that’s for him.
“The Clash is a new challenge for us, not only is it the first race of the season, but it’s a new race on a new track, and a completely different style of racing we’ve seen,” said Brad Keselowski. first Cup starts without Team Penske. To say there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of uproar would be an understatement. When you go to a job where you have never been before, the hardest thing is to prepare for it and know what to expect. As this is my first race with RFK and our first race together, any success we can achieve there will be great for our company. ”
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