The first-ever Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum took place on Sunday, February 6, with several young drivers such as Justin Haley and Harrison Burton turning heads with aggressive moves. However, the old guard stood strong with Joey Logano returning to Victory Lane.
The Team Penske driver turned in another signature performance as he put the bumper to Kyle Busch after the Ice Cube intermission and then built up enough of a lead to take the checkered flag. Busch finished second with Austin Dillon in third and Erik Jones in fourth. Defending champion Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five, proving that the veterans will not go silently into the night.
With the win, Logano won his second consecutive race at a new addition to the NASCAR Cup Series. He also captured the first-ever Cup dirt race at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2021 to punch his ticket to the playoffs.
“Really cool. Last couple wins have been on some weird racetracks, so I don’t know. Bring them on. Bring on the more weird stuff,” Logano joked during his post-race press conference.
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The Petty GMS Motorsports Drivers Are Aggressive
The inaugural Busch Light Clash provided some important information about the 2022 Cup Series season. Specifically, the two drivers for Petty GMS Motorsports showed that they will not hesitate to shove other drivers out of the way while fighting for position.
Ty Dillon was the first to show this aggressiveness during the second Last Chance Qualifier. He was involved in nearly all of the incidents that led to six cautions in only 50 laps. He played bumper cars with Harrison Burton and Kurt Busch in one incident and sent Brad Keselowski into Landon Cassill to set off another.
Dillon did not make the final 23-car field, but Jones lined up with his fellow drivers for the main event. Like his teammate, the driver of the No. 43 used the stronger bodies of the Gen 7 cars while fighting for position. Though he drew the ire of Ryan Blaney after sending the No. 12 into the wall and causing some damage.
If the Busch Light Clash is any indication, the two Petty GMS Motorsports drivers will not shy away from contact during their first season with the rebranded organization. There is a possibility that they will create even more conversations during the 2022 Cup Series season.
Will 2022 Start the Era of Tyler Reddick?
The driver of the No. 8 showed flashes of potential during the 2021 season. He did not reach Victory Lane, but he still made it to the playoffs over Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ross Chastain, and numerous other drivers. Now it appears that he could be in line for a breakout season.
Reddick put on a show all weekend long. He posted the second-fastest lap during qualifying and then dominated during the second heat race. Once he reached the main event, he lined up on the first row next to Busch. Reddick did not remain in the second position for long, however. He moved past Busch on Lap 5 and began building up distance between himself and the two-time champion.
Reddick continued to navigate his way through the field early while leading 51 laps and putting several drivers a lap down. It appeared that he was about to lead all of the way to the mid-race break, but a stunning mechanical issue ended his day early. Reddick broke the transaxle while trying to warm his tires up for another restart.
While Reddick didn’t finish the Busch Light Clash, he didn’t immediately head back to his hauler to prepare for the trip home. Instead, he wandered around the grandstands to give high fives to many of the fans in attendance. It was a small gesture, but it will likely help build up his fanbase in the future.