NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum Preview
NASCAR is back for an exciting pre-season exhibition with the Clash at the Coliseum!
The real deal begins in Daytona on Feb. 19, but that should not take away from what should be an exciting race inside the legendary Los Angeles Coliseum.
Last year, Joey Logano was victorious at the Clash and ended up winning NASCAR Cup Series Championship in Phoenix just a few months ago.
The Clash’s main event will hold 27 drivers, four more than in last year’s bout. This is just the second year that The Clash will be held at the L.A. Coliseum, but the event has been going on since 1979.
Since the Clash isn’t a points race, many drivers race aggressively on the short, quarter-mile track nestled inside the Coliseum.
At last year’s race there were plenty of crashes and high-intensity passes leading to a thrilling finish.
There are some discussions to have the Clash become a points race next season with one of the tracks on the Cup Series circuit set to undergo construction.
However, people around the sport think that making the race worth points could take away from a lot of the excitement and aggression that made last year’s event and hopefully this year’s so special.
Speaking of this year’s event, all of NASCAR’s biggest stars should be battling out during the 150-lap main event beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time on Sunday night.
Joey Logano will be looking to once again assert his dominance by winning his second straight Clash at the Coliseum. Another win in L.A. would be a fantastic start to defending his Cup Series crown.
Chase Elliott will be one of Logano’s main challengers. The number nine car had a tremendous 2022, winning NASCAR’s regular season championship.
Elliott made a deep run in the playoffs, but fell in the final round at Phoenix, finishing fourth overall.
Another driver who made an incredible late-season run was Ross Chastain.
Chastain caught the eyes of plenty of non-NASCAR fans by riding the wall on the final turn at Martinsville, Va. to pass five cars and miraculously get into the next round of the Cup Series playoffs.
Unfortunately, NASCAR has come out and said that this move and any other of a similar caliber is now illegal for the 2023 season.
One more fun storyline to keep an eye on heading into the Clash is the battle between two rookies.
Noah Gragson took home eight Xfinity Series races last season and should be one of the top drivers to watch as he makes his debut in the Cup Series this year.
Entering into the Cup Series with Gragson will be rival Ty Gibbs, the grandson of team owner and former NFL coach Joe Gibbs.
It’s no secret the two incoming rookies don’t like each other with various feuds between the two last season.
Their bouts on the big stage begin with the Clash at the Coliseum.
There’s a lot to live up to after the massive success of last year’s Clash, but the pieces are in place to make this time around just as exciting.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Second Year / Broadcast Journalism