LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was packed not for a USC Trojans football game, but for the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum on Sunday, February 5. It was a typical day of driving the freeways in LA; numerous accidents, road rage and 16 caution flags as Martin Truex Jr. earned the victory.
The Hollywood sign in the Hills overlooked turn 3 and the downtown Los Angeles skyline for the event. The track was purpose-built inside the stadium bringing the sport to a new market. Everyone inside the stadium embraced the race from the moment USC Quarterback Caleb Williams waved the checkered flag.
Truex found himself in the three-man race, jostling with Ryan Preece and Bubba Wallace amid the constant stop-and-start caution flags for his first win in over a year. Once Wallace crashed with 10 laps remaining, it was Martin Truex Jr who captured the win.
Austin Dillon finished second, and Kyle Busch finished third. The three men stood on a podium to receive their medals, reminiscent of the Olympic games the Colosseum hosted.
“Last year was a pretty rough season for us with no wins, to come out here and kick it off this way, just a really proud of these guys,” said Truex after the win.
With the adrenaline and intensity it’s hard to imagine that this was actually an exhibition. It was the final exhibition before the season kicks starts with the DAYTONA 500 at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on February 19.
This marks the second consecutive year the event was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Hopefully, this will become an annual tradition.