Hamlin Races Pole to Checker in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum

(Los Angeles, Feb 3, 2024 – RIS)  After a rapidly approaching rainstorm forced NASCAR to The Busch Light Clash for 2024 got completely scrambled by the approaching rains on the West Coast, running the entire show on Saturday, instead of practice and heat races on Saturday and the featured 150-lap race on Sunday with the grid set by practice times. The only starter not racing into the annual no points race was reigning champion Ryan Blaney, using a provisional spot thanks to his championship standing. 

On the start, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano battled for the lead position with Hamlin dropping to third behind Hamlin and Ty Gibbs with William Byron working on Logano’s rear bumper in hissearch for the position.

Todd Gilliland’s spin in the first turn brought out the first caution of the race one lap before the halfway timeout. He reported to the crew that the brakes went out and the front rotors were glowing red longer than seemed normal. The top ten at the caution were Hamlin, Logano, Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace and Justin Haley. At this point in the race, in the years the Clash has been run at the Coliseum, Byron has never run a lap outside the top ten.

Michael McDowell spun off of Ross Chastain’s bumper to cause a yellow flag at ten laps left to run, 

Gibbs chose the inside lane for the restart and moved Logano up to drop the No. 22 Ford out of the top five. Hamlin swept into the lead with Kyle Busch moving inside of Blaney for second with Blaney’s provisional last-place start allowing him to move inside the top five. Ty Gibbs spun to bring the field under the yellow and setting up a green-white-checker overtime finish. 

Thirteen cars restarted on the lead lap with Hamlin jumping into the lead, opening a lead of just over a half second at the checkered flag to give Joe Gibbs Racing four of the last five Clash wins and Hamlin’s fifth victory in the season-opening showpiece race.

Final Practice: Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Pos, Driver, Car, Time, Speed, Lap #, # Laps, -Fastest, -Next
1) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota, 13.139, 68.498, 16, 20, ---.---, ---.---
2) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 13.250, 67.925, 18, 19, -0.111, -0.111
3) Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, 13.261, 67.868, 13, 19, -0.122, -0.011
4) Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 13.266, 67.843, 18, 21, -0.127, -0.005
5) Kyle Busch, No. 8 Morgan & Morgan Chevrolet, 13.273, 67.807, 18, 20, -0.134, -0.007
6) William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 13.316, 67.588, 15, 20, -0.177, -0.043
7) Ross Chastain, No. 1 Busch Light Chevrolet, 13.319, 67.573, 11, 19, -0.180, -0.003
8) Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 13.324, 67.547, 13, 21, -0.185, -0.005
9) Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota, 13.359, 67.370, 19, 20, -0.220, -0.035
10) Justin Haley, No. 51 Walmart Health & Wellness Ford, 13.368, 67.325, 18, 20, -0.229, -0.009
11) Tyler Reddick, No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota, 13.376, 67.285, 15, 20, -0.237, -0.008
12) Ryan Preece, No. 41 United Rentals Ford, 13.378, 67.275, 12, 21, -0.239, -0.002
13) Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Castrol Edge Ford, 13.388, 67.224, 19, 19, -0.249, -0.010
14) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 13.401, 67.159, 19, 21, -0.262, -0.013
15) Michael McDowell, No. 34 Margaritaville at Sea Ford, 13.429, 67.019, 17, 19, -0.290, -0.028
16) Todd Gilliland, No. 38 gener8tor Ford, 13.429, 67.019, 18, 20, -0.290, -0.000
17) Noah Gragson, No. 10 Rush Truck Centers Ford, 13.433, 66.999, 18, 20, -0.294, -0.004
18) Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Celsius Chevrolet, 13.434, 66.994, 18, 21, -0.295, -0.001
19) Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 13.453, 66.900, 16, 19, -0.314, -0.019
20) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Food4Less/Ralphs/Cheerios Chevrolet, 13.459, 66.870, 14, 20, -0.320, -0.006
21) John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Dollar Tree Toyota, 13.474, 66.795, 19, 20, -0.335, -0.015
22) Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford, 13.484, 66.746, 15, 18, -0.345, -0.010
23) Josh Williams, No. 16 Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet, 13.498, 66.677, 14, 18, -0.359, -0.014
24) Carson Hocevar, No. 77 Delaware Life Chevrolet, 13.499, 66.672, 16, 18, -0.360, -0.001
25) Josh Berry, No. 4 SunnyD Ford, 13.513, 66.603, 18, 20, -0.374, -0.014
26) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Great Lakes Flooring Ford, 13.514, 66.598, 16, 21, -0.375, -0.001
27) Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, 13.524, 66.548, 19, 20, -0.385, -0.010
28) Austin Dillon, No. 3 BetMGM Chevrolet, 13.535, 66.494, 15, 20, -0.396, -0.011
29) Erik Jones, No. 43 Family Dollar Toyota, 13.570, 66.323, 15, 18, -0.431, -0.035
30) Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 13.574, 66.303, 19, 20, -0.435, -0.004
31) Austin Cindric, No. 2 Freightliner Ford, 13.582, 66.264, 17, 18, -0.443, -0.008
32) Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet, 13.592, 66.215, 12, 20, -0.453, -0.010
33) Christopher Bell, No. 20 Mobil 1 Toyota, 13.593, 66.211, 18, 20, -0.454, -0.001
34) Kaz Grala, No. 15 N29 Capital Partners Ford, 13.605, 66.152, 17, 19, -0.466, -0.012
35) Harrison Burton, No. 21 Motorcraft Quick Lane Ford, 13.617, 66.094, 16, 19, -0.478, -0.012
36) Zane Smith, No. 71 Focused Health Chevrolet, 13.704, 65.674, 12, 17, -0.565, -0.087
* Required to qualify on time, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average
Pos, Driver, Car, From Lap, To Lap, Avg Speed
1) Denny Hamlin, 11, 10, 19, 67.615 mph
2) Ty Gibbs, 54, 8, 17, 67.525
3) Joey Logano, 22, 9, 18, 67.401
4) William Byron, 24, 8, 17, 67.251
5) Kyle Larson, 5, 9, 18, 67.050
6) Ross Chastain, 1, 9, 18, 66.979
7) Justin Haley, 51, 10, 19, 66.873
8) Alex Bowman, 48, 11, 20, 66.698
9) Tyler Reddick, 45, 10, 19, 66.685
10) Bubba Wallace, 23, 10, 19, 66.670
11) Michael McDowell, 34, 8, 17, 66.662
12) Kyle Busch, 8, 9, 18, 66.651
13) Chase Elliott, 9, 10, 19, 66.640
14) Corey LaJoie, 7, 9, 18, 66.554
15) John Hunter Nemechek, 42, 10, 19, 66.533
16) Ryan Preece, 41, 8, 17, 66.495
17) Brad Keselowski, 6, 10, 19, 66.446
18) Martin Truex Jr., 19, 10, 19, 66.404
19) Austin Dillon, 3, 9, 18, 66.199
20) Chase Briscoe, 14, 8, 17, 66.120
21) Josh Williams, 16, 7, 16, 66.046
22) Ryan Blaney, 12, 11, 20, 66.003
23) Todd Gilliland, 38, 10, 19, 65.972
24) Chris Buescher, 17, 10, 19, 65.779
25) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 47, 8, 17, 65.701
26) Erik Jones, 43, 7, 16, 65.672
27) Austin Cindric, 2, 8, 17, 65.594
28) Josh Berry, 4, 9, 18, 65.545
29) Daniel Suarez, 99, 10, 19, 65.445
30) Carson Hocevar, 77, 7, 16, 65.435
31) Noah Gragson, 10, 10, 19, 65.354
32) Christopher Bell, 20, 10, 19, 65.077
33) Daniel Hemric, 31, 10, 19, 64.915
34) Harrison Burton, 21, 9, 18, 64.806
35) Kaz Grala, 15, 9, 18, 64.569
36) Zane Smith, 71, 4, 13, 64.360
* Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart.

Starting Line Up: Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Pos, Driver, Car
1) Denny Hamlin, 11, Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota
2) Joey Logano, 22, Shell Pennzoil Ford
3) Ty Gibbs, 54, Monster Energy Toyota
4) Alex Bowman, 48, Ally Chevrolet
5) Kyle Busch, 8, Morgan & Morgan Chevrolet
6) William Byron, 24, Liberty University Chevrolet
7) Ross Chastain, 1, Busch Light Chevrolet
8) Kyle Larson, 5, HendrickCars.com Chevrolet
9) Bubba Wallace, 23, Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota
10) Justin Haley, 51, Walmart Health & Wellness Ford
11) Tyler Reddick, 45, Jordan Brand Toyota
12) Ryan Preece, 41, United Rentals Ford
13) Brad Keselowski, 6, Castrol Edge Ford
14) Chase Elliott, 9, NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
15) Michael McDowell, 34, Margaritaville at Sea Ford
16) Todd Gilliland, 38, gener8tor Ford
17) Noah Gragson, 10, Rush Truck Centers Ford
18) Corey LaJoie, 7, Celsius Chevrolet
19) Martin Truex Jr., 19, Bass Pro Shops Toyota
20) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 47, Food4Less/Ralphs/Cheerios Chevrolet
21) John Hunter Nemechek, 42, Dollar Tree Toyota
22) Chase Briscoe, 14, Mahindra Tractors Ford
23) Ryan Blaney, 12, Menards/Great Lakes Flooring Ford

Did Not Qualify: Buescher,#2 Austin Cindric,#31 Daniel Hemric,#20 Christopher Bell,#15 Kaz Grala,#21 Harrison Burton,#71 Zane Smith

Unofficial FInish, Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Pos, Driver, Car, Delta, Laps, Last Lap, Best Lap, Best Time, Best Speed
1) Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota, --, 151, 14.191 sec, 32, 13.384 sec, 67.244 mph
2) Kyle Busch, No. 8 Morgan & Morgan Chevrolet, 0.610, 151, 14.254, 23, 13.427, 67.029
3) Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Great Lakes Flooring Ford, 0.883, 151, 14.430, 104, 13.484, 66.746
4) Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 1.213, 151, 14.400, 23, 13.444, 66.944
5) Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 2.703, 151, 15.512, 24, 13.421, 67.059
6) Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 2.984, 151, 15.361, 19, 13.444, 66.944
7) Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford, 3.491, 151, 15.617, 32, 13.438, 66.974
8) Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Castrol Edge Ford, 3.907, 151, 15.743, 28, 13.452, 66.905
9) Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 4.212, 151, 16.871, 20, 13.504, 66.647
10) William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 4.232, 151, 16.571, 23, 13.465, 66.840
11) Ryan Preece, No. 41 United Rentals Ford, 5.338, 151, 16.023, 22, 13.466, 66.835
12) Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota, 1.530, 150, 305.896, 21, 13.429, 67.019
13) John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Dollar Tree Toyota, -1, 150, 15.679, 16, 13.445, 66.939
14) Tyler Reddick, No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota, -1, 150, 16.950, 29, 13.441, 66.959
15) Ross Chastain, No. 1 Busch Light Chevrolet, -1, 150, 17.300, 23, 13.475, 66.790
16) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Food4Less/Ralphs/Cheerios Chevrolet, -1, 150, 17.794, 15, 13.471, 66.810
17) Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Celsius Chevrolet, -1, 150, 17.856, 27, 13.536, 66.489
18) Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, -1, 150, 17.939, 23, 13.404, 67.144
19) Michael McDowell, No. 34 Margaritaville at Sea Ford, -2, 149, 16.844, 15, 13.497, 66.681
20) Noah Gragson, No. 10 Rush Truck Centers Ford, -4, 147, 18.383, 96, 13.496, 66.686
21) Justin Haley, No. 51 Walmart Health & Wellness Ford, -16, 135, 18.508, 24, 13.478, 66.775
22) Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, -74, 77, 33.413, 19, 13.462, 66.855
23) Todd Gilliland, No. 38 gener8tor Ford, -83, 68, 14.191, 15, 13.405, 67.139

Race Results for the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum - Sunday, February 4, 2024
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - Los Angeles, CA - 0.25 - Mile Paved
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, , Times Led, Laps Led
1) 1, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota, 151, Running, 2, 58
2) 5, Kyle Busch, No. 8 Morgan & Morgan Chevrolet, 151, Running, , 
3) 23, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Great Lakes Flooring Ford, 151, Running, , 
4) 2, Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 151, Running, 2, 8
5) 8, Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, 151, Running, , 
6) 4, Alex Bowman, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 151, Running, , 
7) 22, Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford, 151, Running, , 
8) 13, Brad Keselowski, No. 6 Castrol Edge Ford, 151, Running, 1, 1
9) 19, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 151, Running, , 
10) 6, William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet, 151, Running, , 
11) 12, Ryan Preece, No. 41 United Rentals Ford, 151, Running, , 
12) 9, Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota, 150, Running, , 
13) 21, John Hunter Nemechek, No. 42 Dollar Tree Toyota, 150, Running, , 
14) 11, Tyler Reddick, No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota, 150, Running, , 
15) 7, Ross Chastain, No. 1 Busch Light Chevrolet, 150, Running, , 
16) 20, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Food4Less/Ralphs/Cheerios Chevrolet, 150, Running, , 
17) 18, Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Celsius Chevrolet, 150, Running, , 
18) 3, Ty Gibbs, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, 150, Running, 2, 84
19) 15, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Margaritaville at Sea Ford, 149, Running, , 
20) 17, Noah Gragson, No. 10 Rush Truck Centers Ford, 147, Running, , 
21) 10, Justin Haley, No. 51 Walmart Health & Wellness Ford, 135, Engine, , 
22) 14, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 77, Steering, , 
23) 16, Todd Gilliland, No. 38 gener8tor Ford, 68, Brakes, ,

Race Length: 151 Laps - 37.75 Miles
Time of Race: 1 Hr, 8 Mins, 46 Secs.
Average Speed: 32.937 MPH
Margin of Victory: .610 Seconds

Track Race Record: Joey Logano, 02/06/22, 0:57:39, 39.029 mph

Comments: Denny Hamlin has won the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, his fourth career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series non-points exhibition event. Prior to the start of the race, no vehicles dropped to the rear of the field under penalty.

Failed to Qualify: (13) 16 Josh Williams, 77 Carson Hocevar, 4 Josh Berry, 99 Daniel Suarez, 3 Austin Dillon, 43 Erik Jones, 17 Chris Buescher, 2 Austin Cindric, 31 Daniel Hemric, 20 Christopher Bell, 15 Kaz Grala, 21 Harrison Burton, 71 Zane Smith.

Cautions: 7 for 7 laps;
Laps: 70-70 (#38 Incident Turn 1 [6]);
74-74 (#42 Incident Turn 4 [7]);
75-75 (Halfway Break [47]);
77-77 (#48, 45, 23 Incident Turn 4 [42]);
77-77 (#34, 47, 1 Incident Turn 2 [42]);
140-140 (#34, 1 Incident Turn 3 [None]);
149-149 (#5, 54, Incident Turn 4 [41]).

Lead Changes: 7 among 4 drivers;
J. Logano 1-2;
D. Hamlin 3-49;
T. Gibbs 50-70;
B. Keselowski 71;
J. Logano 72-77;
T. Gibbs 78-140;
D. Hamlin 141-151.

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2024, Issue 2, Posted 10:44 PM, 02.03.2024