gettyimages-1369033904.jpg
Getty Images

NASCAR announced the race format and eligibility rules for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Thursday, expanding the starting field for the season-opening exhibition race in Los Angeles from 23 to 27 cars. All 2023 NASCAR Cup Series chartered teams and associated drivers will be eligible to enter the Clash, as will non-chartered teams and drivers for four additional starting spots.

Single-car qualifying for the Clash will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4 following a scheduled practice, with one round of three-lap qualifying (one warmup, two timed) for each car. The qualifying order will be set from lowest to highest of 2022 owner's points, while the fastest four Open (non-chartered) cars will transfer into the Heat races if there are more than 40 entries.

Qualifying will set the starting order for the four Heat races, with the fastest qualifier winning the pole for Heat 1, the second-fastest qualifier winning the pole for Heat 2, and so forth. Each Heat race will be 25 laps with only green flag laps counting, and the top five finishers from each Heat race will advance to the Clash. The remaining finishers will move on to one of two 50-lap Last Chance Qualifiers, with the top three in each race advancing to the Clash.

The final starting spot will be reserved for the driver who finished highest in points in 2022 who did not already earn a starting spot in the Clash. The Clash will be 150 laps, with only green flag laps counting.

Here is a complete breakdown of how the starting lineup for The Clash will be set:

  1. Heat 1 winner
  2. Heat 2 winner
  3. Heat 3 winner
  4. Heat 4 winner
  5. Heat 1 second-place
  6. Heat 2 second-place
  7. Heat 3 second-place
  8. Heat 4 second-place
  9. Heat 1 third-place
  10. Heat 2 third-place
  11. Heat 3 third-place
  12. Heat 4 third-place
  13. Heat 1 fourth-place
  14. Heat 2 fourth-place
  15. Heat 3 fourth-place
  16. Heat 4 fourth-place
  17. Heat 1 fifth-place
  18. Heat 2 fifth-place
  19. Heat 3 fifth-place
  20. Heat 4 fifth-place
  21. LCQ 1 winner
  22. LCQ 2 winner
  23. LCQ 1 second-place
  24. LCQ 2 second-place
  25. LCQ 1 third-place
  26. LCQ 2 third-place
  27. 2022 points provisional

After being held for many years at the Daytona International Speedway, the Busch Light Clash debuted an entirely new concept in 2022 when it was moved to a temporary, purpose-built quarter-mile track within the historic Los Angeles Coliseum. Joey Logano won the Clash, and went on to win the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series championship.