Sunday’s NASCAR race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was far from a classic.
It was an event marred by caution flags, with more than a dozen being waved over the course of the 150-lap exhibition. But when the dust finally settled, Martin Truex Jr. was standing tall in the winner’s circle.
Truex, who contemplated retirement at the end of the 2022 season, kept himself close to the front of the field for much of the race, unfettered by the obstacles thrown up by a condensed middle of the pack.
He jostled with the likes of Ryan Preece and Bubba Wallace for the lead, dovetailing between them amid the steady stream of stoppages.
Wallace was felled when run into by Austin Dillon with less than 10 laps left. Wallace’s misfortune opened the door for Truex to get his season off on the right foot. He’ll hope to take his form into the Daytona 500.
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The Sporting News tracked live updates from the action as it went down in Tinseltown. Below are updates, highlights and results from the Clash at the Coliseum, the unofficial opening salvo in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.
NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum live updates, results, highlights 2023
(All times Eastern)
10:28 p.m.: And it’s Truex who takes the checkered flag in Los Angeles!
10:27 p.m.: Four laps to go, it’s Truex on top.
10:23 p.m.: The track monster comes for us all. Even Wallace, who bangs into the wall, seemingly killing his hopes of capturing the win.
Bubba Wallace goes around after a battle with Austin Dillon! https://t.co/ob15TaTQ2X pic.twitter.com/DP0DTd7BlY
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 6, 2023
10:17 p.m.: 11 laps left. It’s Truex at the front, followed by Dillon and Wallace. Looks like a caution flag was waved after McDowell rolls into contact.
10:08 p.m.: 37 laps to go. Preece-Bowman-Truex-Wallace-Dillon is the top five. And another caution flag waved after Blaney flies into the wall. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
10:03 p.m.: Back to green. Preece holds the slightest of leads over Bowman. But alas, another caution flag waved after Briscoe spins out. Stop-and-start.
9:57 p.m.: The fan experience has been something of a challenge so far. Lots of stoppages. Real difficult for drivers to get much of a rhythm so far.
44 laps to go. Yet another caution flag waved.
9:44 p.m.: The word of the day has been caution. Gilliland invokes the warning after twirling as he tried to make his way across Turn 3.
9:40 p.m.: Good news:
drivers told to re-fire the engines.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 6, 2023
9:37 p.m.: Red flag waved after fluid spills onto the track. Less than ideal for drivers.
9:33 p.m.: Ryan Preece doing a wonderful job as he looks to compete with the big boys in the senior circuit. Sitting in third place at the moment and looks about as good a candidate as any to make a run on the top spot.
Yet another caution flag waved, this time after McDowell gets into a fender bender in the middle of the field. Still early in the second half of the race.
9:30 p.m.: It’s been a fairly calm run since the race restart. Wallace still holds the lead, with Truex trailing ever so slightly behind him. Another caution flag waved after Harvick makes contact with the wall. Green flag about to be lifted in a bit.
9:00 p.m.: Through the first 75 laps, it’s Wallace in front. Wiz Khalifa headed to the stage to put on a performance. Life is good in Los Angeles.
8:54 p.m.: Hamlin falling fast. From up around the top of the field to 12th place. Frustrating first race for the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran.
8:50 p.m.: Wallace makes a late play to get past Truex and nab the lead. Solid showing so far by the 23XI Racing driver.
8:45 p.m.: Third caution flag of the day issued after A.J. Allmendinger collides with the wall.
8:43 p.m.: Hamlin, Truex and Wallace lead the way through 40 laps. 35 laps left before the halftime break.
8:33 p.m.: Yet another caution flag waved after Briscoe bumps into Ryan Blaney, sending him sliding. Looks like he also took a shot from Daniel Suarez afterwards. Laps can only be completed under green, so we head for yet another break.
8:32 p.m.: Back under green flag after a brief hiatus. Almirola and Hamlin battling for the No. 1 spot at the moment.
8:28 p.m.: First caution flag of the day waved after Erik Jones spins out on Lap 17. Even in an exhibition, things remain tight on the densely-packed course.
8:26 p.m.: Bubba Wallace makes a pass on Chase Briscoe on Lap 11. He’s up to seventh-place. Not much speed at the moment, it’s all a bit tight early.
8:24 p.m.: Aric Almirola setting the pace early, with Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin close behind. Eight laps in and things have been fairly smooth.
8:22 p.m.: Williams is the honorary starter today. He waves the green flag and away we go!
8 p.m.: Whole lotta USC representation at this one. Caleb Williams, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez all in attendance for today’s race. Should be a good one.
7:45 p.m.: Looks like Kevin Harvick has already found his next career path:
IT’S OFFICIAL. @KevinHarvick will join @mikejoy500 and @ClintBowyer in the FOX: NASCAR booth in 2024. pic.twitter.com/g7TDDaqIxN
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 6, 2023
7:30 p.m.: Black and yellow, black and yellow…
.@wizkhalifa in the house. pic.twitter.com/BcrOK4iAG4
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 6, 2023
7:15 p.m.: T-minus one hour until green flag is waved. Drivers are out and about on the track.
They brought the action. #BuschLightClash pic.twitter.com/1tm6aUflBt
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 6, 2023
Clash at the Coliseum start time, channel 2023
- Date: Sunday, Feb. 5
- Start time: 8 p.m. ET (8:20 p.m. ET green flag)
- TV channel: Fox (U.S.) | TSN (Canada)
- Live stream: FoxSports.com, fuboTV
- Radio: MRN
The Clash at the Coliseum will kick off Fox’s NASCAR coverage, with Mike Joy (lap-by-lap) and Clint Bowyer (analyst) leading the broadcast. They’ll be joined in the booth by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart, who will offer further commentary.
The Clash can be streamed via FoxSports.com or fuboTV, which offers a free trial.
Clash at the Coliseum 2023: Format, lineups for heat races
The Busch Clash main race is scheduled for 150 laps, with a caution scheduled after Lap 75. Only green-flag laps will count. Twenty-seven drivers will compete in the race following Sunday’s heats. Thirty-six drivers, representing all the charter teams in the NASCAR Cup Series, were on the entry list.
Here’s how the drivers will line up for each of the four heat races, which will help to set the starting order for the main race:
|31||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing|
|10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports|
|21||Harrison Burton||Wood Brothers Racing|
|22||Joey Logano||Team Penske|
|42||Noah Gragson||Legacy Motor Club|
|34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports|
|17||Chris Buescher||RFK Racing|
|77||Ty Dillon||Spire Motorsports|
|8||Kyle Busch||Richard Childress Racing|
|3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing|
|5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2||Austin Cindric||Team Penske|
|9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports|
|78||B.J. McLeod||Live Fast Motorsports|
|20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|99||Daniel Suarez||Trackhouse Racing|
|14||Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|45||Tyler Reddick||23XI Racing|
|6||Brad Keselowski||RFK Racing|
|38||Todd Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports|
|15||J.J. Yeley||Rick Ware Racing|
|12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske|
|24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports|
|16||AJ Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing|
|1||Ross Chastain||Trackhouse Racing|
|23||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing|
|43||Erik Jones||Legacy Motor Club|
|41||Ryan Preece||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|7||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports|
|51||Cody Ware||Rick Ware Racing|
|54||Ty Gibbs||Joe Gibbs Racing|
The starting lineup will be mostly determined by the results in these qualifying heats. The winners of Heats 1, 2, 3 and 4 will earn the first four spots in the lineup, the runners-up in each heat will earn the next four slots, and so on down to fifth place in each heat, for 20 spots. After that will come Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) races to set the next six spots. The 27th spot will go to the non-qualifying driver who had the most points in 2022 season.
Lineup, starting order for the Clash at the Coliseum