LOS ANGELES – Never has a NASCAR season opened like this. A new car debuts in an old race at a new venue.
Outside of Daytona for the first time, the Busch Light Clash has moved across the country to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a stadium that has hosted the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics. A temporary quarter-mile paved track was built to showcase the start of the season and the debut of the Next Gen car.
Heat races and last chance races will set the lineup for the Clash in a format not typically seen for a Cup event.
“I think it’s awesome, everything about it,” reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson said of the event. “Staging outside, driving through the tunnel, getting out there – it all kind of has that grassroots feel to it a little bit. I feel like NASCAR did an amazing job with the racetrack.”
Details for Sunday’s Clash at the Coliseum:
(All times are Eastern)
HEAT RACES: There will be four 25-lap heat races. Caution laps do not count. The top four from each race advance to the Busch Light Clash.
LAST CHANCE QUALIFIERS: There will be two 50-lap qualifiers for drivers who did not advance to the Clash through their heat races. Caution laps do not count. The top three finishers in each of the qualifiers advance to the Clash. The Clash field will be finalized by adding one provisional spot.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 10:30 a.m. … The first heat race begins at 3 p.m. … The first of the two Last Chance Qualifiers is scheduled to start at 4:10 p.m. … The Pitbull concert begins at 5:05 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 5:48 p.m.
DISTANCE: The Clash is 150 laps (37.5 miles) on the 1/4-mile short track.
TV/RADIO: Coverage on Fox begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.
FORECAST: The Weather Underground forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 77 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain for the race.
STARTING LINEUP: To be set by heat races and the Last Chance Qualifiers.
CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS COVERAGE:
Drivers prepared for plenty of contact at Clash
Starling lineups for head races
Kyle Busch tops qualifying; Tyler Reddick second
Chase Elliott fastest in Clash practice; Kevin Harvick second
Clash at Coliseum could help remake All-Star Race, lead to international Cup race
What will happen in the Clash at the Coliseum? Drivers offer their predictions
NASCAR’s moves increasing chance of conflict on, off track for drivers
Agreement could put Clash at Coliseum on NASCAR schedule through 2024
NASCAR’s “significant investment” into Clash at Coliseum exceeds $1 million