Racing is back, and in a big way. History was made as Richard Childress Racing traveled to the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for The Busch Light Clash, the annual exhibition race that kicks off the start of every NASCAR season. Not only was this the first stock car race held at the quarter-mile asphalt track, but this was the first time the NASCAR Cup Series took The Clash somewhere other than Daytona International Speedway. This was also the first opportunity for fans to see the new Next Gen car in race conditions. RCR teammates Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick had strong performances on the track, getting the 2022 season started on a strong note.
Tyler Reddick set a solid pace right away in the No. 8 Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet, posting the sixth quickest time in practice, followed by a second-place qualifying run. “We were really happy with the long run speed of our Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet, and it was just going to be a matter of if we could fire off better,” Reddick said after his qualifying laps. Later that afternoon, Reddick would lead the field to the green for the second heat race, with teammate Austin Dillon rolling off sixth in the same heat.
The second heat race proved to be exciting as RCR teammates finished first and third, which transferred them both to the main event. Reddick took control early and never looked back, leading all 25 laps and cruising to a heat race win. Dillon quickly wheeled his No. 3 True Velocity Chevrolet through traffic and into a transfer spot, finishing third in the heat. Dillon would go on to start the main event 10th, while Reddick started second.
Reddick and Dillon showed up to the main event ready to race. After leading 51 laps, the No. 8 Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet fell out of the race due to a broken transaxle, and ultimately finished in the 21st position. Dillon’s car continued to improve during the race, and he patiently moved his way through the field while staying out of trouble along the way. With key passes in the latter half of the race, Dillon drove his No. 3 True Velocity Chevrolet to a third-place finish. “As a sports fan, it was very cool to race at a historic venue like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,” said Dillon. The True Velocity Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was really fast in practice, and it was a great race.”
NASCAR action returns at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, February 15th, with the annual running of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, February 20.