With the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum set for this Sunday in Los Angeles, it officially means the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is upon us. This event is always exciting, with Joey Logano winning it all last year as he eventually went on to win the Championship in Phoenix. While the Clash in the City of Angels doesn't count for points, it should be an absolute doozy before Daytona 500 later this month. Cup Series favorite Chase Elliott leads the way in the sportsbooks at +800, followed by Logano (+800), Kyle Larson (+800), and Kyle Busch (+850). The green flag drops at 8 PM ET at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the home of USC football. 23 drivers will participate, with the winner taking home a $2 million purse. There's 150 laps in total in this exhibition race. Keep reading for the Clash at the Coliseum picks.
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Clash at the Coliseum Odds
|Martin Truex Jr||+2200|
It's really no surprise to see Logano as a co-favorite here. After all, he was dominant last season and took home the Cup Series title. While this is only the second race at the Coliseum, there is no way you can bet against the defending champ...yet. He dominated this event a year ago and will be full of confidence on Sunday. Expect Logano to be in contention.
Over to Elliott. He led the Cup Series standings for most of last season before struggling to produce in the playoffs. However, Elliott was extremely consistent throughout the campaign, winning five races and earning 13 top-five finishes. That being said, he doesn't usually do too well on tracks like this, which is similar to Martinsville. Elliott finished 10th there on both occasions. He also ended up 11th in this race in 2022. Maybe not the best pick.
Bell is a name to watch. He won Martinsville last fall and was red-hot in the playoffs, winning two races and finishing top-five in half of the postseason races as well. He tends to drive well on flat services like this. In the 2022 edition of the Clash at the Coliseum, Bell finished in eighth spot. Respectable.
Busch didn't have the best 2022 season, but you can never count him out. He was in contention to win the Clash last year after leading for 64 laps, but couldn't close out as Logano took over instead. Busch ultimately finished in second. The veteran is now with Richard Childress Racing following 15 years with Joe Gibbs Racing. A new start for Busch. Let's see if he can get started with a bang and right his wrong from the 22' Clash at the Coliseum.
Kevin Harvick is the driver I like here. He's finished fifth, 16th, and eighth in his last three races and actually had the lead briefly in last year's Clash before falling back. Harvick announced this will be his final year as a full-time Cup Series participant and after a 15th-place finish in the standings last season, he'll be motivated to make something happen Sunday.
Ross Chastain is undoubtedly a driver to watch. He was top-five in the final three races of 2022 and finished second behind Elliott in the Cup Series standings. Chastain didn't qualify for the Clash a year ago but regardless, he cannot be overlooked after such a fantastic campaign.
Final Clash at the Coliseum Picks
I'm rolling with the champ. Joey Logano will prove why he was on top in 2022 with a victory to begin 2023 in Los Angeles.