Martin Truex Jr. led the final 25 laps to win The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race in the results from the first event of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
The Joe Gibbs Racing team celebrated as the 2017 Cup champion quickly rebounded from a winless 2022 in his No. 19 Toyota by winning the NASCAR exhibition season opener for the first time.
Truex became the 25th driver to win the race. It’s JGR’s series-leading 11th Clash victory.
Austin Dillon finished second, followed by teammate Kyle Busch in his debut with the Richard Childress Racing No. 8 Chevrolet. Alex Bowman finished fourth, and Kyle Laron was fifth.
Tyler Reddick took sixth. Ryan Preece led a race-high 43 laps in his No. 41 Ford debut for Stewart-Haas Racing but faded to seventh because of an apparent electrical problem. The rest of the top 10: Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin (who also led 26 laps in the No. 11 Toyota), and William Byron.
BOX SCORE: Click here for full results from the Clash at the Coliseum
PENALTY REPORT: Click here for infractions during the race
This is the seventh time Toyota has won the Busch Light Clash.
Austin Dillon has finished runner-up in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and will recieve the silver
Kyle Busch has finished third in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and will recieve the bronze
Aric Almirola started on the pole position and led the first 16 of 150 laps in the race, which featured no pit stops and was split into 75-lap halves.
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The race was slowed by 16 caution flags (up from five last year), including 12 in the final 75 laps. Laps under yellow weren’t counted in the official distance.
Bubba Wallace led 40 laps but finished 22nd after being rooted by Dillon into a late spin.
During a series of heat and qualifying races, the field was whittled to 27 cars for the Clash at the Coliseum main event. Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing drivers Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher both failed to advance for the second consecutive year, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Corey LaJoie and Harrison Burton were among others who were eliminated.
Click here for the results from the preliminary events in the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum.
Results: 1. Martin Truex Jr.; 2. Austin Dillon; 3. Kyle Busch; 4. Alex Bowman; 5. Kyle Larson; 6. Tyler Reddick; 7. Ryan Preece; 8. Ross Chastain; 9. Denny Hamlin; 10. William Byron; 11. Justin Haley; 12. Kevin Harvick; 13. Christopher Bell; 14. Noah Gragson; 15. Chase Briscoe; 16. Joey Logano; 17. Ryan Blaney; 18. Aric Almirola; 19. Daniel Suarez; 20. AJ Allmendinger; 21. Chase Elliott; 22. Bubba Wallace; 23. Todd Gilliland; 24. Michael McDowell; 25. Austin Cindric; 26. Ty Gibbs; 27. Erik Jones
Clash at the Coliseum NASCAR Cup Series race results originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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