NASCAR released a video on January 16 to announce that Ice Cube will be part of the first Cup Series race inside of the LA Memorial Coliseum. FOX will broadcast his performance while the 23 drivers prepare for the final dash to the checkered flag. This performance will mark Ice Cube’s second time taking in a Cup Series race after he previously attended the Auto Club 400 in 2018 and spent time chatting with Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney among others.
“Ice Cube is more than a rapper, actor and entertainer,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president for strategy and innovation, in a statement. “He’s an icon who has risen to the top in all of his endeavors. We’re honored to have him perform at this first-of-its-kind event in the heart of Los Angeles.”
Ice Cube is the latest big name to join the fold for the Busch Light Clash on February 6, but he won’t be the last. NASCAR’s press release stated that there will be additional celebrity participation announced in the coming weeks.
Another Performer Will Set Up the Busch Light Clash
While Ice Cube will perform in the middle of the Busch Light Clash, another big name will take to the stage before the green flag waves. Pitbull will perform a 45-minute concert prior to the exhibition race.
NASCAR issued a press release on December 8 and announced that the Trackhouse Racing co-owner will head to Los Angeles for the first-ever Cup Series race inside of the Coliseum. He will set up yet another NASCAR race after previously serving as the grand marshal of the 2021 Daytona 500 and performing with Blake Shelton at the 2020 FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway.
Once Pitbull finishes his 45-minute performance, the 23 Cup Series drivers that secured spots in the Busch Light Clash will head onto the custom-built short track for the first official race in the Gen 7 stock cars. They will complete 150 laps on the quarter-mile oval while preparing for the 2022 season.
NASCAR Issued the Preliminary Entry List
NASCAR has provided information about two of the special guests at the Busch Light Clash. The sanctioning body has also revealed some of the drivers that will compete in the exhibition race.
The preliminary entry list for the Busch Light Clash included 36 entries from Front Row Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing, and the other teams with Cup Series charters. The majority feature the expected drivers like Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman, and Denny Hamlin. However, there are some intriguing updates.
The Busch Light Clash will feature Ryan Preece as the driver of the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang. He is a reserve driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, but he will make multiple starts for RWR in 2022 as part of a technical alliance between the two teams.
Similarly, AJ Allmendinger will take over the No. 16 entry for Kaulig Racing as he prepares for a season where he rotates with Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric in the Cup Series. Meanwhile, his teammate in Landon Cassill will drive the No. 77 entry for Spire Motorsports.