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NASCAR announces rule changes for 2023 season

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NASCAR announces

NASCAR’s points-free preseason race, now known as the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, was born in 1979 with the idea of ​​testing the sport’s fastest drivers and cars at one of the fastest tracks fastest in the race – Daytona International Speedway.

The concept was driver versus driver and car versus car. No pit stops. Twenty laps (50 miles) on the Daytona Oval, with speed and drafting skill the only victory factors.

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Originally, the field consisted of pole winners from the previous Cup season. In theory, this put the “fastest” drivers in the Clash field, and it also prompted teams to approach qualifying with a little more intensity. A spot in the Clash the following season meant extra dollars in the bank.

NASCAR announces

The race has moved in crazy directions over the years, and no more so than last year when it was moved from its forever home, the Daytona track, to a purpose-built short track inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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Over the decades, virtually everything about racing has changed in one way or another, including race duration, eligibility requirements, format, calendar dates, sponsorship and title. From 1979 to 2020, the race was held on Daytona’s 2.5-mile oval and served as something of a preview for the Daytona 500, scheduled for a week later. In 2021, he moved to the Daytona road course before heading to the West Coast last season.

Here’s a look at 10 historic moments in The Clash’s history:

NASCAR power rankings

1. 2022 — Few races have been as anticipated as last year’s Clash at the Coliseum. After decades at Daytona Beach, NASCAR has flipped the script in a big way and with a big gamble, putting its best drivers and cars on a tiny temporary track inside a football stadium. Joey Logano won, but it was almost an afterthought. The race was a resounding success, opening the door for NASCAR to consider similar projects.

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2. 2008 — How would Dale Earnhardt Jr. handle his move from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Hendrick Motorsports? The answer came quickly – during his first race. Junior led 46 of 70 laps winning what was then called the Budweiser Shootout, his debut for Hendrick. The biggest action happened before the race during practice as Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch got tangled on – and off – the track. Both were called to the NASCAR trailer, where the incident reportedly accelerated. Both received six-race probations.

3. 2012 – One of the closest finishes in The Clash’s history occurred in a race that produced a rarity – Jeff Gordon’s car on its roof. Kyle Busch and Gordon made contact in Turn 4 on lap 74, sending Gordon into the wall, into a long slide and onto his roof. A warning sent the 80-lap race into overtime. Tony Stewart had the lead on the final lap, but Kyle Busch passed him as they raced down the trioval, winning the race by 0.013 seconds.

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4. 1984 — A race that stands out in Ricky Rudd’s career, and not in a playful way. Neil Bonnett won the sixth Clash, but the video highlights the day’s focus on Rudd’s crash on lap 15. He lost control of his car in Turn 4 and veered sideways. When Rudd’s car left the track, it lifted off the surface and began a series of flips before landing on its wheels, very badly damaged. Security teams removed Rudd from the car. He suffered a concussion and his eyes were so swollen he had to have them opened with duct tape so he could race days later in a Daytona 500 qualifying.

5. 1980 — The second Clash was won by Dale Earnhardt, one of the masters of Daytona International Speedway. This time he won under unusual circumstances. An Automobile Racing Club of America race often shared race day with the Clash, and such was the case in 1980. The start of the ARCA race, however, was delayed by weather conditions, putting NASCAR and race officials track in a tight spot with the Clash also featured on the schedule and daylight running out. Officials took the unusual step of stopping the ARCA race to allow The Clash to appear on national television. After Earnhardt won the Clash trophy, the ARCA race ended.

6. 1994 — Jeff Gordon, 22, gave a glimpse of what was to come in his career by winning the 1994 Clash. Gordon would score his first cup point win later that year in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, but he also dazzled in the Clash, pulling off a deft three-wide move from Turn 2 with two laps to go to get past Dale Earnhardt and Ernie. Ivan. He held on to win the race.

7. 2006 – Newcomer Denny Hamlin became the first rookie to win the Clash. Tony Stewart, Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, was in the lead with four laps to go, but a warning stacked the pack and sent the race into overtime. Hamlin passed Stewart, who has struggled at Daytona throughout his career, on the restart and won the race.

8. 2004 ‘This one became the duel of the Dales. Dale Jarrett passed Dale Earnhardt on the final lap to win by 0.157 seconds. It was the only lap Jarrett led in the race over two 70-lap segments.

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9. 1979 — The first Clash, designed by Anheuser-Busch to promote its Busch brand of beer, attracted a lot of attention due to its short duration (20 spins) and big payout ($50,000 to the winner). That paycheck seems small by now, but it was a huge sum in 1979 and made the Clash one of the richest mile races in the world. Although the Clash field has been expanded in many ways over the years, the first race was limited to the previous season’s Cup pole winners. Only nine drivers competed. Buddy Baker, almost always fast at Daytona, led 18 of 20 laps and won by about a car length over Darrell Waltrip. The race only lasted 15 minutes.

10. 2020 “It seemed like the Clash no one would win. Several huge crashes in the final miles decimated the peloton. At the final restart, only six cars were in contention for victory. Erik Jones, whose car sustained extensive front end damage due to his involvement in one of the crashes, won the race with help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who was one lap in another damaged car but fished out behind Jones to push him to victory.

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