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JAN 30, 2024 | Ford Performance Staff

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CLASH

Logano holding up trophy at inagural race

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the third straight year, the NASCAR schedule will open up with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.  Joey Logano won the inaugural race in 2022, which marked the first event for the NASCAR Next Gen Mustang. Overall, Ford has won the Clash 10 times.

The Schedule

  • Sunday, Nov. 4 -- NASCAR Cup Series, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

UP TO SPEED

NEW NASCAR CUP SERIES MUSTANG SET FOR DEBUT

The all-new 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Mustang will make its competitive debut this weekend in the Clash at the Coliseum. The car, which is based off the seventh-generation Mustang production model, is part of a plan to have Mustang race all around the world. This year’s NASCAR Cup Series version has been on-track once with that coming in early December when Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher participated in a test at Phoenix Raceway. Since coming to the Cup Series in 2019, Mustang has won 52 races, including a pair of Daytona 500 victories and back-to-back driver championships.

 

LOOKING AT THE 2024 FORD CUP LINEUP

There have been a number of changes to the Ford lineup since the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season ended. The biggest changes have come at Stewart-Haas Racing, where retired drivers Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola have been replaced by Josh Berry and Noah Gragson. Rick Ware Racing will also sport a pair of new drivers with Justin Haley signed on for the full season in the No. 51 Mustang and Kaz Grala set to run 25 events. 

Driver – Car Number (Team)
Austin Cindric – No. 2 Ford Mustang (Team Penske)
Josh Berry – No. 4 Ford Mustang (Stewart-Haas Racing)
Brad Keselowski – No. 6 Ford Mustang (Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing)
Noah Gragson – No. 10 Ford Mustang (Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing)
Ryan Blaney – No. 12 Ford Mustang (Team Penske)
Chase Briscoe – No. 14 Ford Mustang (Stewart-Haas Racing)
Kaz Grala – No. 15 Ford Mustang (Rick Ware Racing)
Chris Buescher – No. 17 Ford Mustang (Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing)
Harrison Burton – No. 21 Ford Mustang (Wood Brothers Racing)
Joey Logano – No. 22 Ford Mustang (Team Penske)
Michael McDowell – No. 34 Ford Mustang (Front Row Motorsports)
Todd Gilliland – No. 38 Ford Mustang (Front Row Motorsports)
Ryan Preece – No. 41 Ford Mustang (Stewart-Haas Racing)
Justin Haley – No. 51 Ford Mustang (Rick Ware Racing)

 

PREECE READY TO POUNCE

Ryan Preece, making his full-time debut with Stewart-Haas Racing behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford Mustang, nearly stole the show in last year’s Clash at the Coliseum until late-race issues sent him from the lead to a Ford-best seventh-place finish. Preece started 16th and worked his way to the front, eventually passing Bubba Wallace for the lead with 68 laps to go. However, with 30 laps remaining he experienced issues with the fuel pump, enabling race-winner Martin Truex Jr. to pass for the lead with 24 laps left. Preece, who led a race-high 43 circuits, fell back a few more spots until eventually getting back under full power to finish inside the top 10.

 

HALEY HOPING FOR ANOTHER FAST START IN RWR DEBUT

Justin Haley will be making his debut with Ford and Rick Ware Racing this weekend in the No. 51 Mustang and he’s hoping to start things off like he did a year ago when he had the fastest qualifying time for the Clash. Haley circled the quarter-mile track in 13.413 seconds before finishing third in his heat race and 11th in the main event.

A LOOK BACK

LOGANO WINS INAUGURAL CLASH AT THE COLISEUM

For the first time in NASCAR history, the Clash was held at a place other than the Daytona International Speedway as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the event on February 6, 2022. The specially-made quarter-mile asphalt track delivered in the main event as Logano, who won his heat race, passed Kyle Busch on lap 116 and led the final 35 to become only the second Ford driver to win the Clash more than once. Logano, who also captured the event in 2017, joined Dale Jarrett (three-time winner) with multiple Ford victories.

KESELOWSKI KICK STARTS 2018 SEASON IN STYLE

In a foreshadowing of what the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series would look like, Brad Keselowski took Ford to victory lane in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski led a Ford sweep of the top four finishing positions as he took the lead on lap 39 of the 75-lap feature and never looked back, holding off Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney, respectively. It marked the second straight Clash win for Ford and served as a springboard that saw the Blue Oval lead the series with 19 wins and capture the driver's and manufacturer's championships.

ELLIOTT CLAIMS FORD’S FIRST CLASH VICTORY

Bill Elliott became the first Ford driver to win a non-points event in the NASCAR Cup Series on February 8, 1987 when he captured the Busch Clash. The format that year was a single 20-lap run (50 miles) with no pit stop required. Elliott, who started on the pole in his No. 9 Coors Thunderbird after a blind draw, fell back to sixth on the start after Terry Labone and Ricky Rudd were involved in an accident on the first lap. On the ensuing restart, Elliott steadily reeled in leader Darrell Waltrip and passed him on lap eight. Elliott led the final 13 laps and won with an average speed of 197.802 mph, a record that still stands for the event. A week later, Elliott won his second Daytona 500.

PAST WINNERS

The Clash has been held in some form since 1979 and Ford has won it 10 times by seven different drivers. The best stretch in the event for Ford undoubtedly came during a three-year winning streak in which Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Dale Jarrett all reached victory lane from 1998-2000. Jarrett owns three of Ford’s 10 victories (1996, 2000, 2004) in the event and on two of those occasions (1996 and 2000) he went on to win the Daytona 500.

FORD’S BUSCH LIGHT CLASH WINNERS
1987 – Bill Elliott
1992 – Geoffrey Bodine
1996 – Dale Jarrett
1998 – Rusty Wallace
1999 – Mark Martin
2000 – Dale Jarrett
2004 – Dale Jarrett
2017 – Joey Logano
2018 – Brad Keselowski
2022 – Joey Logano