Drivers, start your engines.
The 2023 NASCAR season is officially here. After nearly three months off, cars will hit the track this weekend for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
While the race is only an exhibition with no points on the line, it’s an exciting way for the season to kick off inside the legendary Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Here’s everything you need to know for the Clash:
What is the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum?
The Clash is a preseason exhibition race held at a makeshift, quarter-mile asphalt track built inside the L.A. Coliseum.
This year will mark the second time that the race has been held inside the former Olympic stadium. It was held at Daytona International Speedway from 1979 to 2021, when it served as extra track time for drivers before the Daytona 500.
All 36 chartered teams will travel out west for the event, but not all of them will qualify for the main event.
What is the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum 2023 format?
Fitting all 36 cars on the 0.25-mile Coliseum track would be difficult, so the Clash features a series of heat races to determine who qualifies for the main event. Twenty-seven drivers will race in the main event, nine will go home.
On Saturday, there will be a two-hour practice session for drivers to get a feel for the track. The 36 cars will be split into three groups and each group will have equal time on the track. After practice, there will be single-car qualifying with each driver getting three laps – one warm-up, two timed – to set the fastest speed.
The qualifying results will set the lineups for the four heat races on Sunday evening. The four fastest qualifiers will start first in the four heat races. Drivers fifth through eighth in qualifying speeds will start second in the four heat races, and so on.
The four heat races are 25 laps each with nine drivers in each race, and they’ll set the field and lineup for the main event. The top five finishers in each heat race advance to the main event, while the bottom four in each race drop to the last chance qualifying races (LCQs). There will be two 50-lap LCQs, with the top three in each LCQ moving to the main event.
After the LCQs, 26 of 27 spots in the main event will be filled – with the last spot going to the driver that was highest in the 2022 standings that hasn’t yet qualified.
The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be a 150-lap main event with a halftime break at lap 75.
What time is the Clash at the Coliseum 2023?
Saturday, Feb. 4 (FS1 and streaming)
- Practice: 6 p.m. ET, FS1, FoxSports.com
- Qualifying: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, FoxSports.com
Sunday, Feb. 5 (FOX and streaming)
- Qualifying heat races and LCQs: 5 p.m. ET, FOX, FoxSports.com
- Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum: 8 p.m. ET, FOX, FoxSports.com
Who won the Clash at the Coliseum in 2022?
Joey Logano won the inaugural Clash at the Coliseum last year before going on to win the championship.
Several other active drivers have won the Clash, but no one else has won at the Coliseum. Denny Hamlin (2006, 2014, 2016), Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013), Kyle Busch (2012, 2021), Erik Jones (2020), Brad Keselowski (2018) and Logano (2017) won the event at Daytona.
How to buy tickets for the Clash at the Coliseum
Tickets for the Clash are available for purchase online here, at NASCARClash.com. On that site, you can find info about all the events, parking, scanners and more.
Who is favored to win the Clash at the Coliseum?
With only one prior race at the L.A. Coliseum, it’s hard to pick anyone besides Logano as the favorite. He led the final 35 laps en route to victory last February.
Outside of Logano, several other drivers performed well in Los Angeles last year. Kyle Busch led a race-high 64 laps and finished second. Tyler Reddick was the only other driver to lead, as he paced the field for 51 laps before retiring due to a drivetrain malfunction.
Here are the favorites to win the Clash at the Coliseum, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:
- Joey Logano, +850
- Chase Elliott, +850
- Kyle Larson, +900
- Kyle Busch, +1000
- Ryan Blaney, +1100
- Christopher Bell, +1100
- Denny Hamlin, +1200
- William Byron, +1400
- Ross Chastain, +1500
- Tyler Reddick, +1600
- Kevin Harvick, +2200
- Martin Truex Jr., +2500
- Brad Keselowski, +2800
- Bubba Wallace, +2800
- Chase Briscoe, +2800
- Alex Bowman, +3300
- Daniel Suarez, +3500
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.