LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The sound of roaring engines and the smell of burning rubber filled Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum today, and Joey Logano emerged the winner of the Busch Light Clash.
NASCAR — which built a temporary quarter-mile asphalt auto-racing track atop the turf where Trojans usually trod — kicked off its 2022 schedule with the pre-season, non-points exhibition race.
Logano held off hard-charging pole winner Kyle Busch to win the race.
“I can’t believe it,” Logano said. “We`re here. The L.A. Coliseum. We got the victory with the old Shell/Pennzoil Mustang. This is an amazing event. “I’m out of breath,” Logano continued. “I was so excited about this. This is a big win. My wife is having a baby tomorrow, our third one, so a pretty big weekend for us.”
Qualifying heats began Saturday, and the 150-lap main event started Sunday at 3 p.m.
The weekend’s racing marks the first time NASCAR has opened its schedule outside of Daytona Beach, Florida.
The sound of music also filled the Coliseum. Pitbull performed before the big race and Ice Cube took the stage during a race break.
Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of strategy and innovation, said the switch from Daytona Beach to L.A. was two years in the making.
“We’ve been discussing the Clash for a while, and we’ve had it at the (Daytona) oval for a number of years,” he said. “Seeing that it’s an exhibition event, we looked at a number of different places and locations that we could host it at, and ultimately narrowed it down to the L.A. Coliseum.”
Kennedy said the relatively small quarter-mile track presented unusual and challenging dimensions and banking angles for drivers.
“You can only go so high, just because of the sight lines and the temporary construction, but we’ve played with a few different ones,” he said.
The average speed of the race winner was 39.029 mph, the race time was 57 minutes 39 seconds and the margin of victory was .877 seconds.