FOX Sports announcers Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer invoked the name of Bowman Gray Stadium a time or two during Sunday night’s broadcast of the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum. Race runner-up Austin Dillon did the same post-race, a nod to the pint-size but bruising quarter-mile track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, just one county up from his stomping grounds.

Sunday’s second edition of the Clash had the look and feel of a Saturday night madhouse scramble in the tobacco capital but was set instead in a historic West Coast arena with elaborate pageantry and Olympic bonafides. And just like the stadium, the formula for denting fenders and friendliness was perfectly mixed.

“Just a lot of chaos, a lot of mayhem, a lot of disrespect, if you will,” said third-finisher Kyle Busch. “That’s tight-quarters racing at a quarter mile. What do you expect, right?”

RELATED: Truex prevails in Clash | At-track-photos: LA

Last year’s inaugural exhibition in Los Angeles was shaped by heavy uncertainty — about both the new car and the new track, which were 1A and 1B on the list of unknowns — and the non-points event’s unique nature, which remains one of one in the NASCAR Cup Series. Year 1 was more about whether the NASCAR industry could pull off such an undertaking; Year 2 was whether the Clash could be a more competitive show. With a bit more familiarity with both car and track for this year’s edition, drivers’ limits on how far they could push were more of a known quantity.

Push they did. What the race may have lacked in flow, thanks to 16 caution periods, it made up for as an incubator for full-contact drama.

We emerged with preseason grudges — some rekindled from long-ago but lingering wounds and others we didn’t know we had or wanted. The on-and-off feuds involving Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain, plus Joey Logano and Busch, were stoked anew by Sunday night transgressions. Hard feelings between Dillon and Bubba Wallace also came to light when a late-race bumping battle boiled all the way over.

WATCH: Chastain dive bombs Hamlin | Busch: ‘I owe (Logano) a few’

Those are just the higher-profile squabbles. It’s a full laundry list all the way down the field, and the season hasn’t truly started yet. “I don’t think anyone really respects anyone that much,” Hamlin said later, replying to NBC Sports’ Dustin Long, “but that’s just kinda the new way.”

Drivers and teams usually enter the two-week run-up until the season-opening Daytona 500 with embryonic optimism, but now there might be an edge to that boundless hope. The 2.5-mile superspeedway is rarely a place where scores are settled, but drivers might be far less likely to cut a rival a break when fighting for prime positioning inside the aerodynamic draft. Other opportunities for evening up the tote board could be filed away for later in the season.

The Busch Light Clash has worked so far as an exhibition, using a one-off format and venue to bring NASCAR racing to a different market. Just don’t say it’s all for funsies. The madhouse gladiators can attest to that.

What started as a one-race deal for Doug Coby to drive Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7NY Modified in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Riverhead Raceway last year has become so much more.

The pairing, which won that race at Riverhead as well as events at Lee USA Speedway and Langley Speedway, has set its sights on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2023.

Baldwin, who won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour owner’s championship last year with Coby, Jimmy Blewett and Mike Christopher Jr. splitting time in the No. 7NY, spent most of the offseason working on the deal to put Coby in his race car for the full year.

“I think we all talked about it at the end of the year, myself, Jimmy Blewett and Doug, and we decided that it would be best to try for a driver and owners’ championship and having one driver through the whole year and having another car for Jimmy doing some races here and there,” Baldwin said. “We felt that was probably best for this year.

“Doug brings that Tour championship form. He’s used to doing these races. He understands where he needs to be, what’s going on during the races. Jimmy does, too, we just decided as a group to do this this year.”

RELATED: 2023 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule

Prior to teaming up with Baldwin at Riverhead last year, Coby had only planned to compete in a handful of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events after scaling back his own operation.

However, after winning back-to-back races at Riverhead and Lee, Coby and Baldwin decided to work together as often as they could. Coby ended up competing in 12 of 16 races last year, nine for Baldwin and three in his own car.

In the nine races driving for Baldwin, Coby never finished worse than 10th. He finished the year ranked ninth in the Tour standings and led more laps than any other driver despite missing four races.

“It was a very nice surprise to say the least of how quickly we gelled and got along and how he adapted to how we do things,” Baldwin said. “He came from a completely different environment where he was at, the thought process and doing stuff. For him to come in and adapt real quick was huge for us. We didn’t really have to change much.”

Coby will chase his seventh NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship in 2023, which would tie him with Tour legend Mike Stefanik for most championships. Richie Evans holds the all-time record for NASCAR Modified championships with nine.

Coby, from Milford, Connecticut, said that after the success the combination enjoyed during the 2022 season, it was natural to try and put something together for the full 2023 season.

Thankfully, Coby’s long-time sponsor Mayhew Tools stepped up to help make the deal happen.

Tommy Baldwin Jr., owner of the No. 7 John Blewett Inc. Modified, during practice for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 27, 2022. (Adam Fenwick/NASCAR)

“It came together pretty naturally based on performance from last season,” Coby said. “We clicked right away when I first drove for him at Riverhead and Lee and clicked with the crew. Just found a good fit for his program with all the drivers that he works with.

“It just makes the most sense I think for me to run with him in as many Tour races as we could, and I was able to get enough sponsorship from Mayhew to do all 19 Tour shows.”

Prior to 2022, Coby explained he spoke with Baldwin about potentially putting a deal together for Coby to race the No. 7NY. However, those talks fizzled out and he instead settled on a part-time program in his own car.

“He and I did talk before last season to see if we could do something last year,” Coby said. “It just got, with me and my team and losing Phil (Moran) to Tyler (Haydt) and Ron (Silk)’s team and having to move my cars to a race shop and having to figure out sponsorship and how much it was going to cost and if we were going to split a season, it just got to be too much for me.”

Everything changed at Riverhead on May 14, 2022, when Coby was a late fill-in for Blewett, who had to miss the race to care for his sick daughter.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“It just kind of worked out,” Coby said. “I think I’m a little disappointed; last year I missed New Smyrna and Richmond before we started running well together. I think if I had gone to New Smyrna and Richmond I think I might have had a shot at a championship.”

Baldwin and Coby are hesitant to call themselves the favorites to win the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship this year, and with good reason.

Jon McKennedy is returning to defend his title, and perennial contenders Justin Bonsignore, Ron Silk and Eric Goodale are all expected to make championship runs.

As far as Baldwin is concerned, the goal for 2023 is the same as it was in 2022: Win as many races as possible. If Coby and Baldwin win enough races, the championship will take care of itself.

“My goal still hasn’t change after all these years,” Baldwin said. “My philosophy is you win races, you’re going to get the most points. So that’s what we’re going to go do. We’re going to try and win races first and see where we’re at towards the later part of the year.

“If we have to change that as far as little points chasing at the end, that’s a different story. But right now we’re going for wins and maximizing as many points as we can.”

Coby and Baldwin will look to open the season with a victory in the New Smyrna Beach Visitors Bureau 200 at New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 11. The event will be available to watch live exclusively on FloRacing.

LOS ANGELES — Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch beat each other’s bumpers all weekend, leaning on each other around the tight confines of the quarter-mile track nestled inside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

But the new teammates at Richard Childress Racing left smiling, each with medals around theirs necks on the podium as Dillon and Busch finished second and third, respectively, in the 2023 edition of the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum.

RELATED: Official results | At-track-photos: LA

The duo executed its game plan to near perfection, rubbing fenders in battles for position but also yielding to each other when appropriate.

“Austin and I worked hard together today on, A, working together, but, B, all the information to put ourselves in the best possible spot,” Busch, the two-time Cup champion, said. “Good collaboration between the RCR bunch.”

Dillon, the 2018 Daytona 500 champion and winner of the 2017 Coca-Cola 600, showed steady speed throughout the weekend after qualifying sixth in Saturday’s time trials ahead of finishing third in his heat — coincidentally behind heat winner and eventual Clash champion Martin Truex Jr. and Busch.

“I’ll just echo what Kyle said. It was really fun,” Dillon said. “Our car was really good. It really kind of turned on that last practice. We figured out that our car was pretty good on the long run. We were able to qualify decent, which is good for us. Not a great qualifier usually at the short tracks.

“Felt like if we could just maintain we could have a shot. Kyle helped me there at the end. He knew we had a fast car, so let me try and got a shot at Martin. That was nice, so hopefully I can pay back the favor when we go to Daytona and work together well. It’s a great start for all of us.”

Andy Petree, vice president of competition at RCR, was thrilled to see the Nos. 3 and 8 Chevrolets find immediate success in Year 2 of the Next Gen car. In the vehicle’s inaugural season in 2022, RCR was victorious four times, but three of those wins came from Tyler Reddick. With Reddick gone and Busch in, the No. 8 team showed steadiness in its debut with its new driver.

“It’s kind of a proud moment to see our guys working together like that,” Petree told NASCAR.com. “And you see the mutual respect, but they raced each other super hard. Just came up a little short on trying to beat Martin Truex. But it looked like it might happen there.”

Indeed, the teammates had a chance to track down Truex late. The final restart came with seven laps remaining — Truex on the front row alongside former teammate Busch and in front of Busch’s new teammate Dillon. The No. 19 Toyota scurried away to the checkers, but not without a fight from RCR.

MORE: Full Clash recap | Watch Race Rewind

The key for the Childress cars was allowing room for each other to work efficiently.

“We’ve been working well together this whole weekend off the track, on the track, and having the opportunity of being able to take care of one another on a couple of those restarts,” Busch said. “You know, the 3 would be easy off the corner and give me a gap to be able to get down and some other stuff that we did, too. Yeah, I mean, that’s just a good omen for great teamwork and good sportsmanship from the two of us, so let’s keep that rolling.”

“I think the other good part,” Dillon added, “is some of the things that we like in a race car — what I was excited about, because I’ve watched Kyle’s data over the years, and the way he approaches the setup of a car and things I think we’re actually pretty close. Like our delta would be close.

“So that’s nice to be able to hopefully work off of that, and we’re only going to be able to build off that as we go and find those places that when we have a good run, where do I need to be setup-wise compared to him to echo that.”

All the positivity came despite contact between Dillon and Busch both in their heat races as well as the main event.

“But that’s what we want to see,” Petree said. “We want to see them race hard, but they’ve got respect for each other. And it was showing during the race. I saw a couple times on these restarts where they were starting side by side and you saw all the pushing and shoving and they were kind of protecting each other.

“And then on that last little run, you know, Kyle used up so much of his car to get there and he didn’t have much for Martin and looked like Austin maybe was a little quicker and he let him go, and I thought you know that’s pretty good, guys working together like that.”

Busch had to use so much of his No. 8 Chevrolet because another long-ago Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Joey Logano, drove into the back of Busch and sent him for a spin at Lap 86.

“I just overdrove it. I screwed up. It was my mistake,” said Logano, the defending series and Clash champion. “I don’t know why. I mean it’s still kind of a mystery to me because I re-fired and I came off [Turn] 2 awful. Had no rear grip off 2. And then I went down into the corner and I still had no rear grip and slid down into the 8.

“Thankfully, he was fast enough to get all the way back up there. I felt pretty bad.”

Busch, who certainly hadn’t had time to chat with Logano before his post-race obligations, wasn’t thrilled with another run-in from Logano.

“He just flat-out drove through me, so he’s got another one coming,” Busch said. “I owe him a few.”

WATCH: Busch reacts to contact from Logano

What Busch and RCR do have is momentum heading into the start of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, which officially gets underway with the 65th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM).

“It does help the momentum, you know?” Petree said. “No matter what kind of race it is to get our guys working together. You know, now we’ve got confidence, right? So we can go to the next race with that confidence and build on it, you know?

“Next thing is that Daytona 500. Let’s go get it.”

Which channels have NASCAR programming this week? We answer that and give the weekly NASCAR television listings here in the NASCAR TV schedule.

Note: All times are ET.

MORE: How to find USA Network | How to find FS1 | Get FOX Sports App | Watch on USA Network | Get the NBC Sports App | Watch on Peacock | FloRacing | How to watch NASCAR International

Monday, Feb. 6
5 a.m., NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum (re-air), FS1
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7 p.m., NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum (re-air), FS2
9 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: 75 Years of Racing (re-air), FS2
10 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of Radioactive: Trucks (re-air), FS2
10:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of Radioactive: All-Star (re-air), FS2

Tuesday, Feb. 7
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6 p.m., Dale Jr. Download, Peacock
8:30 p.m., NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum (re-air), FS2
10:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: 75 Years of Racing (re-air), FS2
11:30 p.m., NASCAR Presents Beyond the Wheel: The Ernie Irvan Story (re-air), FS2

Wednesday, Feb. 8
4:30 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub: 75 Years of Racing (re-air), FS2
5:30 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Best of Radioactive: All-Star (re-air), FS2
6 a.m., NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum (re-air), FS2
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6 p.m., Dale Jr. Download, Peacock

Thursday, Feb. 9
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6 p.m., Dale Jr. Download, Peacock

Friday, Feb. 10
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: 75 Years of Racing (re-air), FS2
8 p.m., NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum (re-air), FS2

Saturday, Feb. 11
7:20 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Smyrna Speedway, FloRacing

LOS ANGELES — In front of a large, enthusiastic crowd in one of the most iconic venues in sports, Martin Truex Jr. earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in more than a season in a rough-and-tumble all-thrills Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum on Sunday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota held off Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet by a mere 0.786 seconds, leading the final 25 laps of the 150-lap annual non-points exhibition event marking the start of the NASCAR season. It was the first career Busch Light Clash victory for the former series champion.

RELATED: Official results | At-track-photos: LA

Dillon’s new teammate, two-time series champion Kyle Busch, finished third in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet – the three top finishers feted on a podium with medals, reminiscent of the Olympic Games the venue has also famously hosted.

“Just really good race car, the guys did a really good job with this Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry,” the New Jersey native Truex said. “Last year was a pretty rough season for us with no wins, to come out here and kick it off this way, just really proud of these guys.

“Tonight was just kind of persevere, not give up and just battle through and we found ourselves in the right spot at the end. Sometimes they work out your way, and sometimes they don’t. Tonight, it went our way.”

The iconic HOLLYWOOD sign on the hills overlooking Turn 3 and the downtown Los Angeles skyline just beyond Turn 2 provided a unique setting for this event.

It was a packed house at the 100-year-old Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the race – lots of new fans mixed with the most loyal long-timers dressed in their best NASCAR fan T-shirts, driver jackets and hats excited to watch the NASCAR Cup Series show exactly the kind of high-drama short track action that has made the 75-year-old sport an American treasure.

The track was purpose-built inside the stadium, bringing the sport to a new market, which appears to have wholeheartedly embraced.

And while this may be a preseason exhibition, frustration was often in mid-season form Sunday night.

The race was slowed 16 times for cautions. Dillon had a late race run-in with Bubba Wallace, their cars colliding. Wallace got the worst end of the contact and was knocked from contending for the win to instead finishing 22nd in the 27-car field – despite leading 40 laps and challenging Truex as the race wound down.

“Obviously, Bubba knocked me through the corner,” Dillon said. “I was going to hit him back. Didn’t mean to turn him like that, but when it gets down to the end, I think everybody knows what’s going on, and that’s what you see at places like this and [North Carolina short track] Bowman Gray Stadium.”

Dillon acknowledged that Wallace may be upset with him and said they would talk.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five. Tyler Reddick was sixth in his debut in the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota.

New Englander Ryan Preece, 32, making his first start in the No. 41 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, led the most laps (43) but fell back with 24 laps to go, telling his crew there was a fuel-pump problem. He finished seventh.

Denny Hamlin, who won his qualifying heat earlier in the day in his No. 11 JGR Toyota, finished ninth, with driver William Byron in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet rounding out the top 10.

The four heat and two Last Chance Qualifier races Sunday afternoon provided plenty of drama in setting the field for the main event under the lights – and under the fire of the Coliseum’s famed peristyle torch. Both RFK Racing Fords – driven by team co-owner Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher were among the eight cars that didn’t qualify.

Joining the RFK drivers on that list of DNQs were Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Harrison Burton, Ty Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Cody Ware, JJ Yeley and BJ McLeod.

The NASCAR Cup Series next moves east to Florida for the Feb. 19 regular season-opening Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway (Sunday, Feb. 19, 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Notes: Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota cleared post-race inspection with no issue, confirming his race win. … NASCAR and Ally Financial Inc. announced a league-wide sponsorship expanding the financial institution’s presence in the sport, having Ally Bank become the Official Consumer Bank of NASCAR and NASCAR-owned tracks. The multiyear deal is in addition to Ally’s existing full-season relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and will also focus on continuing to bring unique and engaging experiences to fans while advancing inclusivity in racing.

Contributing: Staff reports

Nothing came easy for Preston Peltier on Sunday at Tucson Speedway in his quest for a third Chilly Willy victory.

Following a spin on Lap 7, Peltier meticulously battled his way back to the front of the field, but the veteran found himself under pressure from Kole Raz throughout the final 40 laps. Raz was trying to become the ninth winner in the event’s 10-year history.

Neither Raz nor Peltier gave each other an inch during their intense battle, but experience ultimately prevailed at the checkered flag with Peltier adding another Chilly Willy win to his resume.

“To out-duel Kole there, that’s a feather in the cap,” Peltier said about his battle with Raz. “I’m sorry I couldn’t give it [to Kole], but [he’s] going to have to earn it. I enjoy racing those guys, and there was a period where I mentored [guys like Raz]. I want to see them succeed.”


Peltier admitted his battle for the win with Raz summarized everything he loves about short-track racing on the West Coast.

Having competed alongside Raz for several years, Peltier has grown comfortable with how the Lake Oswego, Oregon native handles himself on the track. Peltier knew he would get raced clean for the win once Raz was able to pull underneath him in the closing stages.

Raz expected Peltier to remain stalwart in the top groove and tried everything possible to get the run he needed to take control of the race. Despite his best efforts, Raz was left simultaneously enthralled and disappointed about coming one spot short of becoming a Chilly Willy winner.

“I gave it all I had there,” Raz said. “The goal during that final yellow was to try and keep [Peltier] in reach. I lost the drive off Turn 2 on the last lap to stay side-by-side with him at the line, but it was a lot of fun. I was just a little short, and it’s painful, but we’re getting there.”

Peltier considers himself fortunate to even be in contention following his Lap 7 spin that put him at the rear of the field.

With Tucson being abrasive on tires, Peltier had to be both aggressive and conservative with his equipment while trying to get back to the front over the ensuing 100 laps. Once he felt enough had been saved, Peltier made his final charge and managed to still fend off Raz, who was on the same strategy.

Now a three-time Chilly Willy winner, Peltier considers Tucson one of his favorite tracks. He’s determined to defend his title in the facility’s crown jewel event next year.

“I really love [Tucson],” Peltier said. “It really suits my driving style. You can move around a lot, and there’s a lot of strategy, which makes it more stressful, because you have to worry about tires and what everyone else is doing. We almost didn’t save enough, but I hope everyone enjoyed the show.”

Sean Hingorani, who will drive full-time in the ARCA Menards Series East with Venturini Motorsports, also saved his tires like Peltier and Raz, which allowed him to finish third. Zachary Riehl came home in fourth, and Eddie Vecchiarelli rounded out the top-five finishers.

Below are more takeaways from the other feature races on the final day of the 2023 Chilly Willy.

  • Jake Bellman took home his second consecutive Legend car Pro/Masters win of the weekend after overtaking ARCA Menards Series West driver Tyler Reif on the final restart. Brenden Ruzbarsky finished third, followed by Levie Jones and Tanner Reif, who will compete full-time in the upcoming West Series season with Bill McAnally Racing.
  • A late pass by Dylan Wolf on Gavin Ray earned him the victory in the Legend car Semi-Pro/Young Lions class. Andrew Riehl came home third, with Bryceton Meyer and T.J. Roberts unofficially completing the top five.
  • David Levitt claimed the 40-lap Thunder Trucks feature over Zane Mckissick. The rest of the top five consisted of Andy Sole, Adam Farr and Keatone Shane.

Legacy Motor Club’s Jimmie Johnson announced Sunday on FOX that he will enter the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural Chicago Street Race.

Johnson has planned a return to the Cup Series on a part-time basis this year, driving the No. 84 Chevrolet in select events. That limited schedule now includes the circuit’s first event on a downtown street course on July 2.

RELATED: General admission tickets on sale for Chicago Street Race Weekend 

The Chicago race is the latest addition to Johnson’s portfolio of bucket-list events since he retired from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2020 season. The seven-time Cup champ will attempt to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 19 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) as a non-chartered entrant, and he was added last month to the driver roster for the Garage 56 project that’s set as a special entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 10-11.

Johnson, 47, was announced last November as a new part-owner of the Petty GMS organization, which relaunched Jan. 11 as Legacy Motor Club. That rebrand included the unveiling of his car number – No. 84, a reverse of the No. 48 that he carried from the start of his Cup Series career.

Veteran Todd Gordon was tapped Jan. 23 as the crew chief for the Legacy MC No. 84 effort.

MORE: Jimmie Johnson through the years | All of his Cup Series wins

Kevin Harvick announced Sunday that he will join the FOX Sports booth as an analyst for the network’s NASCAR coverage starting in 2024.

Harvick announced Jan. 12 that he will retire from Cup Series competition at the end of the 2023 season. The 47-year-old veteran now has his plans set for his post-driving career, and he shed light on those intentions in the network’s pre-race show for Sunday’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.

RELATED: At-track photos: Clash

Harvick has been a regular contributor for FOX Sports, both as a guest commentator and as a play-by-play anchor in special drivers’ only broadcasts. The current FOX Sports announcing team includes a former Stewart-Haas Racing teammate in Clint Bowyer, who joined the TV crew in 2021. Harvick is scheduled to call four Xfinity Series races and three events in the Craftsman Truck Series this season.

Harvick is a 60-time Cup Series winner and the 2014 champion. He won twice last year to qualify for the Cup Series Playoffs for the 13th consecutive year.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR and Ally Financial Inc. today announced a league-wide sponsorship expanding the financial institution’s presence in the sport, having Ally Bank become the Official Consumer Bank of NASCAR and NASCAR-owned tracks. The multiyear deal is in addition to Ally’s existing full-season relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and will also focus on continuing to bring unique and engaging experiences to fans while advancing inclusivity in racing.

“We’ve loved every minute of the ride since becoming a sponsor of the No. 48, from seeing the growth in popularity of the sport to the increased diversity among team ownership,” said Andrea Brimmer, Ally’s chief marketing and public relations officer. “The timing couldn’t be better for us to complement our wonderful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports by expanding our footprint as an official NASCAR sponsor.”

As part of Ally’s new sponsorship, beginning with the “Ally Pre-Race Tailgate” at The Clash in Los Angeles and continuing throughout the season, Ally will focus on enhancing the fan experience through unique at-track experiential events and programming, surprise and delight giveaways and fan-centric content.

Ally is also prioritizing celebrating the stories, community and work being done across the cultural landscape of racing in the partnership as it becomes the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards beginning in 2024. Additionally, the partnership includes Ally and NASCAR proactively working together on initiatives to increase fandom among people of color and LGBTQ+ audiences.

“NASCAR continues to diversify its audience and is making racing an inclusive place for all. That’s a shared goal we’ve always had, and we’re ready to help make meaningful change toward that end,” Brimmer said.

“Ally is making a positive impact on our sport through its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, and we’re thrilled to now welcome them as the Official Consumer Bank of NASCAR,” said Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “Ally’s ‘Do It Right’ ethos aligns perfectly with our values, and we are confident that our partnership will bring new levels of innovation and inclusivity to the industry.”

Alex Bowman and Ally continue to leave a positive impact on the racing landscape since entering the sport in 2019. Among the many exciting milestones:

  • Ally helped to bring back racing to the city of Nashville with the new and now popular Ally 400
  • Joining forces with driver Alex Bowman and fans, Ally helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for rescue animals in partnership with the Best Friends Animal Society
  • Ally has underwritten unique paint schemes by diverse creators, including its most recent work with Caroline Fogle, one of the few female paint scheme designers in the history of NASCAR, who designed the Ally 48 dual primary paint schemes for the 2023 season

“It’s been a privilege to work in partnership with Ally these past five years and see them quickly establish themselves as an engaged and admired sponsor in our sport,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. “All of us at Hendrick Motorsports are thrilled about Ally expanding their efforts with NASCAR and look forward to the positive impact their energy and commitment will have.”

LOS ANGELES — The Hollywood sign resting on the distant Santa Monica Mountains to the northwest. The downtown cityscape to the northeast. The San Gabriel Mountains to the east.

NASCAR is, unmistakably, in Los Angeles, California.

The backdrop for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum might as well be set on a Hollywood stage. The beauty of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum sits ready to host the offseason defroster of an exhibition race for the second consecutive season — and expectations feel bigger than ever heading into Sunday night’s main event.

MORE: Full Clash schedule | Heat race lineups

Daniel Suárez, who became Mexico’s first native to win a NASCAR Cup Series race last season at Sonoma Raceway, felt the energy right away as he returned to Southern California. That international pride shined through as he sat atop United Airlines Field from the 1923 Club for his first press conference of 2023.

“Last year honestly was probably the most amazing event I have ever been part of,” Suárez said. “NASCAR, you guys [in] the media and the teams, they knocked it out of the park. The event was unbelievable. The fans were super amazing. The energy was unbelievable as well. I have never felt so much excitement of the fans in driver introductions like we did one year ago.

“So it was quite special and the expectations are all really high for the second time. And already, on top of all this, for me, racing here in LA is somewhat like racing at home. You know, there is a lot of Hispanics here so this is extra exciting for me. […] A big smile for me racing here that I can call almost home.”

RELATED: LA a ‘great location for a race,’ says Larson

Mike Joy, who leads NASCAR on FOX’s play-by-play booth for its 23rd season and has covered the sport decades longer, has a rich appreciation for NASCAR’s history. From its grassroots upstarts to the Hollywood flair of today, Joy finds himself enamored with the thrill of the famed arena.

“We’re right in the heart of Los Angeles,” Joy said Friday. “And for this sport to have come that far — for the people that run NASCAR to have been that brave to completely break the mold and say, ‘We’re gonna go back to what we used to do in 1956 at Soldier Field in Chicago, and we’re going to pave a track inside a stadium. We’re going to run the Cup cars there.’ We all were as excited as we thought they were crazy. And look at this. I mean, this is fantastic.”

The allure of the stadium speaks for itself: An arena that’s hosted the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the World Series. Its mystique adores it to an international fanbase, instantly recognizable on the screen, as FOX Sports’ Shannon Spake noted.

“I think if you show someone a picture of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they know exactly what it is,” said Spake, who frequently hosts “NASCAR Race Hub” on FS1. “I know Chuck [McDonald, FOX producer] and I have worked football games here before so I’ve been here as a sideline reporter for college football and it is incredible.

“The one thing that last year that I wish that we had was that I wish that it would finish under the lights, and that’s what we’re gonna have this season. I think with the torch lit and the cars on the race track and the [brake] rotors [glowing] and all of that stuff that we’re gonna see Sunday at this location, I can’t wait. I’m so excited.”

The success of the event has made possible what previously was thought impossible: converting a football field into a race track in a matter of weeks and putting on a compelling event with musical acts from Cypress Hill, Wiz Khalifa and Dixie D’Amelio scheduled to entertain.

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“I think this has opened a lot of doors that probably people in the past weren’t really expected to be opened,” 2014 champion Kevin Harvick said Saturday. “Because when I came here last year, I really thought this was gonna be a joke. But personally, it was probably one of the races that I had the most fun at last year. And you look at the atmosphere and everything that happened, it was a great event and I think coming back this year, everybody’s looking forward to it.”

The second running of The Clash at the LA Coliseum takes center stage at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.