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It’s a hard call to bet against Joey Logano when the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum visits the Los Angeles Coliseum for the second time.
After all, Logano won the inaugural Clash last year in the first race using NASCAR’s new NextGen Cup Series race car.
As a perfect bookend to the 2022 season, Logano won the Championship 4 event at Phoenix Raceway to secure his second NASCAR Cup Series title.
As he proved last year, Logano has a penchant for short, flat, quirky race tracks, and the purpose-built quarter-mile in the L.A. Coliseum is right in his wheelhouse.
That’s why Logano (+750 via DraftKings Sportsbook) is our second choice to repeat as the Clash winner—but he’s not our first.
After qualifying for the main event in last year’s Clash, Chase Elliott started 15th among the 23 finalists and finished 11th, hardly a performance worthy of his status as a co-favorite with Joey Logano this year.
When you consider that Elliott had no short-track victories in last year’s inaugural season of the Next Gen Cup car—all five of his wins came on tracks of a mile or more in length—it’s hard for us to install Elliott as a frontrunner for the Clash.
Elliott may be NASCAR’s perennial Most Popular Driver, but popularity won’t carry him to the finish line at the Coliseum. We advise avoiding him at short odds (+750 via DraftKings Sportsbook).
In what turned out to be a lame-duck year at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch won one race—and that was a gift. Running third on the final lap on Bristol’s dirt track, Busch got the win when second-place Chase Briscoe spun leader Tyler Reddick in the final corner.
That victory, however, extended a streak that is personally important to Busch, who has now won at least one NASCAR Cup Series race in 18 straight seasons, tying Richard Petty for the longest consecutive streak in NASCAR’s top division.
Otherwise, it was a miserable year for Busch, who lost sponsor M&M’s and was forced to leave JGR when no substitute could be found. Busch has landed at Richard Childress Racing, where he has something to prove.
Remember the last time Busch was forced out of a team? When he left Hendrick Motorsports and signed with JGR in 2008, Busch won eight of his first 22 starts with his new organization.
At Childress, he will be just as motivated. And don’t forget, Busch won the pole for last year’s Clash and led 64 laps before finishing second to Joey Logano.
We like Busch to improve by one position this year. He’s our favorite to win the season-opening exhibition race, and the price is right at +900 via DraftKings.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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