The Clash – RFK Racing

The format of this year’s Clash at the Coliseum is largely unchanged from 2022. Saturday, the field will be split into three groups for practice, with each group receiving three sessions to dial in their cars.

Following practice, single-round and single-car qualifying will begin to set the starting lineups of Sunday’s heat races — four 25-lap contests in which only green-flag laps will count. In qualifying, each driver gets three laps — one warm-up lap and two timed circuits. Teams will go out for qualifying based on the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series owner points standings from lowest to highest. If there are more than 40 entries to this event, the fastest four open teams will transfer into the heat races.

Saturday’s fastest qualifier will earn the pole position in Heat 1, with the second-fastest qualifier earning pole for Heat 2; third-fastest on pole for Heat 3; and fourth-fastest on pole for Heat 4, etc.

The heat races will determine both the field for the main event, alongside the starting lineup. The top five finishers in each heat race will automatically advance to the main event, setting the top 20 starting positions.

Drivers who finish their heat races outside the top five will fight to advance into the main event through the Last Chance Qualifiers, two 50-lap dashes to officially set the Clash field. The first LCQ will feature those who finished sixth-10th in Heats 1 and 3; the second LCQ hosts those who finished sixth-10th in Heats 2 and 4. The top three drivers in each LCQ will advance and compete in the Clash.

The 27th and final spot in the field is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2022 season points standings and who did not already earn a starting position in the Clash.

Keselowski in the Clash:
Starts: 9
Wins: 1 (2018)
Poles: 1

  • Keselowski is aiming for his 10th appearance in the annual preseason, exhibition event. He is the 2018 winner of the Clash and has five top-10 finishes in the event. He ran fourth in his first-ever Clash in 2012 in his Championship season, and followed that up with a runner-up result in 2014.
  • In NASCAR’s first-ever appearance at the LA Coliseum a season ago, Keselowski failed to advance to the main event out of the last-chance qualifier race.


Buescher in the Clash:
Starts: 2

  • Buescher has two starts in the annual Clash event with a best finish of ninth back in 2017. He finished 16th in 2021 in Daytona.
  • He did not make the main event in 2022 at the LA Coliseum.


RFK Historically at the Clash:
Wins: 1 (Mark Martin, 1999)

  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin has Jack Roush’s lone win in the Clash event, winning back in 1999. He started from the 13th position and went on to lead the final 16 laps, topping Ken Schrader and Bobby Labonte on the podium for the victory.
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