The inaugural Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum in February will be a 150-lap main event featuring 23 NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
NASCAR announced the format Tuesday morning while new NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson tours the facility. The industry’s early 2022 visit to southern California will consist of two days on track. The event is open to 40 drivers.
Teams will practice on Saturday, Feb. 5, and then have single-car qualifying to determine the starting order for the four heat races. The heat races will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6. There will be 10 drivers in each race, which are 25 laps.
- The top four fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s single-car qualifying session will be on the pole for each heat race, while cars that qualified fifth through eighth will make up the other half of the front row in each heat.
- The remainder of each field will be filled out using this methodology (Ex. – heat one will be made up of cars with qualifying positions one, five, nine, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37).
- The top four finishers (16 total cars) from each heat race automatically advance through to the Busch Light Clash, with the winner of heat one winning the pole and the heat two winner earning the outside pole.
- The winners of heats three and four will fill out the second row, with the remaining order of these 16 cars being determined in the same manner.
Those who do not automatically advance will go to the Last Chance Qualifying races. There will be two LCQ races of 50 laps.
- The starting order for these two events will be determined based on finishing positions in the heat races.
- Those that did not advance from heats one and three will make up the first Last Chance Qualifying race, while the second race will be made up of those from heats two and four.
- The fifth-place finishers from heats one and two will be on the pole in their respective Last Chance Qualifying races. The fifth-place finishers from heats three and four will be on the outside pole.
- This pattern will continue to fill out 12 cars in each event.
- The top three finishers (six total cars) from both Last Chance Qualifying races will advance to the Busch Light Clash, filling out positions 17-22 of the 23 available positions.
The final spot in the Clash is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2021 championship point standings who did not transfer on finishing position in the heat races or Last Chance Qualifying races.
“There has already been an enormous amount of buzz around next year’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, and we feel that this race format and the accompanying programming throughout the entire weekend will only build on that already established momentum,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation. “The unprecedented nature of this event, coupled with the fact that our sport will be in the spotlight in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, makes this a can’t miss event when we get our 2022 season underway next February.”
Officials will construct a temporary quarter-mile asphalt oval inside the facility. It will be the first time the Clash will be held outside of Daytona and the first time the L.A. Coliseum has hosted a NASCAR event.