Clash heat breakdown: Almirola on pole for main event at LA Coliseum

Nigel Kinrade/Motorsport Images

Clash heat breakdown: Almirola on pole for main event at LA Coliseum


Clash heat breakdown: Almirola on pole for main event at LA Coliseum


Aric Almirola watched the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum from the grandstands after failing to make the field. Sunday night, Almirola will lead the field to the green flag.

Almirola won the first heat race to earn the pole for the feature. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver took the lead from Justin Haley with six laps to go.

The first heat race saw one caution. Harrison Burton, who was running fourth, was spun in Turn 1 on lap three by Noah Gragson.

Advancing through the first heat race with Almirola were Alex Bowman, Haley, Gragson and Joey Logano.

Martin Truex Jr. won the second heat race after dueling with former teammate Kyle Busch over the final laps. Truex took the lead for good with five laps to go.

Austin Cindric spun twice but only brought out the caution once. Cindric spun with five laps to go to bring the caution out and then was punted on the restart by Chase Elliott, which saw no caution.

The battle for the transfer spot came down the final corners. Elliott was tagged going into Turn 4 by Ricky Stenhouse, who locked the tires up and couldn’t take advantage. It opened the door for Kevin Harvick, who passed Stenhouse and then outran Elliott to the finish line.

Truex, Busch, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson and Harvick advanced.

In the third heat race, Denny Hamlin won while teammate Christopher Bell convinced no one he was having fun despite what was said on his radio. Bell started from the pole but fell through the field and spun with three laps to go.

Bell ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Going into Turn 1, he spun after contact from Todd Gilliland, who had been run into by Ryan Blaney.

Advancing to the Busch Light Clash with Hamlin were Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, Blaney and Daniel Suarez.

The final heat race went caution free and was won by William Byron, who started from the pole and led every lap.

Advancing with Byron were Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece and Erik Jones.