Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Los Angeles, CA–
If you build it, they will come! That was exactly the end result today at the Coliseum in Los Angeles as a star-studded BUSCH clash weekend came to a close with Joey Logano edging out a victory over Kyle Busch
Logano held off Kyle Busch over the Busch Light Clash’s final 20 laps to win on the quarter-mile purpose-built track at the L.A. Coliseum. The race was moved up a week and from Daytona International Speedway to the historic stadium in an attempt to spark excitement for the 2022 season and attract sports fans looking for something to watch on the Sunday before the Super Bowl.
The 150-lap main event was preceded by a Pitbull concert in the shadow of the Coliseum’s iconic peristyle. The Miami rapper and NASCAR team owner seemed to be performing to a less-than-enthused crowd. At first, so many people put it down to a large portion of the crowd not being in their seats yet. However, this repeated itself during the Ice Cube’s halftime concert. Maybe it was those huge stairs they had to walk up and down to get to some of the seats in the 300 levels.
One of the things we took away from this exhibition race was it needed to have the big named racers facing each other at the end. Who doesn’t want to see Kyle and Kurt go at it on a short track like this? But with Kurt out, that left Kyle and Kevin Harvick as the most seasoned NASCAR drivers to watch, with a bunch of 20-year-old kids that just two years ago didn’t even have what it took to compete in this series. This leaves a lack-luster end result for most hard-core NASCAR fans, and in fact quite a few “newbies” were there just because it was a big event centered around Super Bowl week kicking off. Plenty of USC kids in the Ricky Bobby looks too.
In the second of two qualifiers, Ty Dillon shoved his way to second place and then got black flagged for jumping a restart. Dillon then drove his way to the lead. He wouldn’t make the feature after jumping the final restart from first place.
In the end, it seems like it was a 60/40 split on the success. Great concept, new fans, but sort of lack-luster racing. No real pit stops, just cars going around the track and the awkward stop at Lap 75 for the concert was just sort of weird as well.
Next up Daytona. Real racing, real results.