Story By: MATT HUMPHREY / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – NASCAR has announced the qualifying elements and race format for the first-ever Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, the unprecedented 150-lap main event highlighting two days of racing action at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.
On Saturday, NASCAR Cup Series competitors will take to the track for practice sessions prior to single car qualifying runs to determine the starting order for the four scheduled heat races. The field will be open to 40 entrants.
On Sunday, on-track action will begin at 5 p.m. ET on FOX, with four 25-lap heat races consisting of 10 cars each. Below is a breakdown on how the heat races will be filled out:
- The top four fastest qualifiers from Saturday’s single vehicle qualifying session will be on the pole for each heat race, while cars that qualified fifth through eight 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 cars with qualifying positions of 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 (8 p.m. ET, FS1), 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.
The remaining six finishing positions from each heat (24 total cars) that did not advance will continue through to one of two 50-lap Last Chance Qualifying races. Below is a breakdown on how the Last Chance Qualifiers will be filled out:
- 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 of up 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 Busch Light Clash is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2021 points standings who does not transfer on finishing position in the heat races or Last Chance Qualifying races.
All other drivers will be eliminated from competition for the remainder of the event weekend.
“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.”
“I’ve had the chance to drive on the track through iRacing and make some laps in the NextGen car at Bowman-Gray on a similar layout, and there’s no doubt that this race is going to be awesome,” said Clint Bowyer, longtime former NASCAR Cup Series driver and current FOX Sports analyst. “The different qualifying events and format for the Clash are only going to add to what will be an unforgettable weekend. This is definitely a race you’re not going to want to miss!”