Martin Truex Jr. Takes Home the Checkered Flag in a Wild Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum
Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Los Angeles, CA–
The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum returned for its second year and it didn’t finish without some controversy from drivers and even the fans.
When all the smoke cleared and there was plenty of it in the main event, Martin Truex Jr, took the checkered flag to win NASCAR’s preseason event in Los Angeles.
After the race quite of few of the drivers voiced their concerns about the race and whether it would actually return for a third year at this point is going to leave some wondering for the rest of this season.
Bubba Wallace said his back and neck hurt following the bumping and banging of NASCAR’s first event of the new year, an exhibition that Kyle Larson called “very violent for the majority of the race.”
Martin Truex Jr., who went winless last season and nearly retired, won Sunday night and gave a flat “No,” when asked if the race should count in the future. The Clash was run at Daytona International Speedway from its 1979 inception until last year, when NASCAR moved it to the Coliseum because, frankly, a special race wasn’t so special anymore at Daytona.
The big question arises for 2024, can NASCAR actually make this a points race on another short track? Most drivers said they don’t even want to come close to seeing that happen, but could NASCAR throw us for a loop since the Auto Club race will not be part of the 2024 schedule?
“Why would you want to screw it up and make it a points race? It’s like a one-off deal,” Truex said, noting that at Daytona the ever-changing eligibility rules made a boring race “all weird.”
Many of the drivers commented about this being mini version of Bristol and Martinsville and said we have two perfectly good short tracks. Bubba Wallace sort of smiled when asked about those two in comparison to the race tonight. ” Totally different, said Wallace. “We aren’t even going to go there on that one.”
What most fans really seemed to like was the entertainment really ramped up this year. The addition of Cheat Codes performing during the caution flags and the race being kicked off by one of the most legendary groups to come out of Southern California, Cypress Hill.. the night kicked off with a boom that’s for sure. Wiz Kalifa kept the crowd going at the halfway mark and the second half of the race certainly didn’t disappoint either. Drama filled right to the end. All we needed was an old school driver like Jimmy Spencer to jump out of his car and throw a helmet and it would have wrapped up a crazy weekend of events at the historic L.A Coliseum and great start to NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary season.