The 27-driver field is set for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum, and after the action we saw in Sunday’s four heat races, and two Last Chance Qualifiers, there is no question the main event will be a good show.
Aric Almirola, by virtue of winning Heat #1 at the LA Memorial Coliseum, will start from the pole in the Busch Light Clash. Last season, in what was going to be his last season, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver didn’t even make the main event.
Alex Bowman (5th), Justin Haley (9th), Noah Gragson (13th), and Joey Logano (17th) each locked themselves into the main event and will be littered throughout the field when the big show starts later Sunday.
By virtue of winning Heat #2, Martin Truex Jr. will start on the front row for the 150-lap event, with Heat #3 and Heat #4 winners Denny Hamlin and William Byron starting on the second row, in third and fourth.
Kyle Busch (6th), Austin Dillon (10th), Kyle Larson (14th), and Kevin Harvick (18th) each were able to put themselves in the main event, earning starting spots throughout the field, and saving themselves from the LCQ.
Harvick, who will retire at the end of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, narrowly made it into the main event, edging out NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Chase Elliott by 0.016 seconds, in a wild last lap.
In the third heat race, Denny Hamlin started on the inside of the front row – as a result of teammate Christopher Bell electing to take the outside lane – and captured the victory, meaning he’ll start third in the main event.
Chase Briscoe (7th), Tyler Reddick (11th), Ryan Blaney (15th), and Daniel Suarez (19th) each locked into the 27-car field for the Busch Light Clash.
The fourth and final heat race was dominated by William Byron, who earned himself a spot on the outside of the second row for the main event, giving the Hendrick Motorsports driver valuable track position.
Bubba Wallace (8th), Ross Chastain (12th), Ryan Preece (16th), and Erik Jones (20th) each earned their spots into the Busch Light Clash, saving them from the dreaded Last Chance Qualifiers.
Michael McDowell (LCQ #1) and Chase Elliott (LCQ #2) each emerged victorious from the Last Chance Qualifiers, allowing them to lineup 21st and 22nd in the main event, meaning they’ll have some major work to do if they hope to capture the victory.
After finishing 12th in NASCAR Cup Series points last year, 2022 Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric claimed the 27th and final spot in the field, by virtue of being the driver highest in points, to not claim a spot through the Heats or LCQs.