Winners and losers from NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum
A look at the winners and losers after Saturday night’s Clash at the Coliseum.
NASCAR — With Los Angeles facing rain for the next several days, officials moved the Clash up a day. While having the race on FS1 instead of Fox cost NASCAR potential viewers and having to redeem tickets for those who bought seats for Sunday’s event is a loss for the sport, completing the event, instead of waiting days to run it, was a win.
Denny Hamlin — The star of the Netflix series followed up the show’s debut last week by winning the Clash. After his victory Saturday night, Hamlin told fans: “You know I beat your favorite driver again, right?” Every sport needs an antagonist and Hamlin has willingly taken the role.
Fans and drama — There was a lot of drama between drivers. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got out of his car during the halfway break to have a chat with John Hunter Nemechek. Stenhouse also bumped fenders with Michael McDowell during a caution. After some previous contact, Kyle Larson spun Bubba Wallace. Ross Chastain had contact with Tyler Reddick after the checkered flag. Joey Logano and Ty Gibbs had a difference of opinion in the garage area after the race.
Kyle Busch — While he didn’t win, his runner-up finish gave him a top-three finish at all three races at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Ryan Blaney — After needing the provisional to make the field, the reigning Cup champion went from starting last to finishing third.
Ty Gibbs — Led a race-high 84 laps but finished 18th due to chaos in the final laps. Despite Gibbs’ result, Denny Hamlin was high on his teammate after the race, saying: “I think he’s going to have tremendous success this year. I think he’s going to be part of the playoffs. I don’t think that’s going to be a big shock to anyone.”
Christopher Bell — He was the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to fail to qualify for the 23-car Clash.
Chris Buescher — Failed to make the feature race of the Clash for the third consecutive year.
Austin Dillon — He finished second last year and third two years ago at the Coliseum. He failed to make the feature this year.