Just a few days and NASCAR rolls out its fullest fury at the LA Coliseum, unofficially kick-starting the season and getting the followers prepared for the official season opener at Daytona, only a week later. But do you know this race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, also referred to as the Busch Light Clash, isn’t even near what it was when it began?
More about that later. First, let’s check out the drivers who’ve gained the highest variety of Busch Clashes in the historical past of NASCAR.
There is only one phrase that may probably describe Earnhardt’s information at this historic race. Dominance. The intimidator gained the race six instances over his first 9 begins, all of which got here between 1980 and 1995. He made three extra begins after 1995, the place he completed third, third and second.
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The NASCAR legend gained his first Busch Light Clash in simply his third year with Hendrick Motorsports in 1994. However, his win at the Busch Light Clash in 1997 was much more particular for a different reason. Only six instances has a driver gained the Clash and likewise the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon represents Chevrolet on that elite listing along with his 1997 triumph.
The most up-to-date inductee of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame ties Gordon in the variety of victories at the Busch Light Clash. His first victory got here in 2005, which was additionally his fourth full-time Cup Series season. Over a decade and nearly a half later, he recorded his second win at this race in 2019.
Nevertheless, the Busch Light Clash in the present day is nothing prefer it was when it hosted its first-ever occasion again in 1979. And right here’s how.
From merely 9 to a 36-car line-up, the Busch Light Clash has come a good distance
Six years earlier than introducing its coveted All-Star race, Anheuser-Busch and NASCAR joined arms to host a non-points occasion, that includes the quickest automobiles in the sport. It started as a 20-lap-long race alongside the 2.5-mile observe. The winner obtained $50,000, and the occasion was aired by CBS on a Sunday afternoon.
The occasion began as a way to spark curiosity in the minds of the viewers relating to the Cup Series and likewise the Daytona 500. But the prerequisite to compete in this race was to win poles in the earlier 12 months. While the 1981 model of this occasion homes solely seven automobiles, in the present day, the sport doesn’t care about the variety of entries in this race. It is open to anybody and everybody. It’s merely an exhibition race that goals to draw new followers to the sport.
The maiden race accommodated solely 9 drivers, eight of whom had gained the pole in 1978. The ninth driver was a wildcard entry from the names of the drivers who had led the second spherical of the qualifying laps in the 12 months earlier than. Buddy Baker gained the inaugural race, holding off Darrel Waltrip by a automobile size, registering a blazing quick pace of 193.384 mph. Interestingly, there have been no cautions all through the total race. However, the format is way completely different in the present day.
The high 5 drivers in every of the first 4 25-lap warmth races will transfer on to the function.The non-qualifiers will race it out in two 50-lap races and the high three will be a part of the earlier 20 drivers in the essential occasion. The remainder of the discipline can be accomplished by the highest-finishing drivers on factors in the earlier Cup Series season. Indeed, a stretch from what the Light Busch Clash as soon as was.