The 2021 NASCAR season is over and now it is time to turn the calendar over to 2022.

On November 9, NASCAR has announced the format for the Busch Light Clash that will begin the season. 

For the first time in NASCAR history, The annual Clash race is not being held at Daytona International Speedway but at The Coliseum in Los Angeles on February 6.

In the two day event, The Clash will feature practice sessions, heat races, a last chance qualifier, and a 150 lap race.

Forty drivers will enter the heat races but only 23 will appear in the main event.

NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy spoke on the Busch Light Clash saying, “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.  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.”

The “track” at the Coliseum will be the shortest in NASCAR at only a quarter of a mile around. 

On February 5 the drivers will hit the track for practice and qualifying runs to set the field for the heat races.

On February 6 the action begins at 5pm eastern time with four 25 lap heat races with 10 cars in each heat.  The four fastest cars in each heat will move on to the main event.

The 24 drivers who did not make it into the main event after the heat races will get a second chance to make it into the main event with the Last Chance Qualifier races.  The Last Chance races will feature two 50 lap races with 12 cars in each race.  The top three finishers from each race will move on to the main race.

The final spot in the starting lineup of the main race goes to the driver with the highest point standings from 2021 not already in the race.

Former NASCAR Cup Series driver and FOX analyst Clint Bowyer spoke on the event saying, “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.  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.”

feature photo credit: NASCAR