Preseason Busch Light Clash: NASCAR’s Swift Shift to Saturday Night Amidst Threat of Torrential Rain and Flooding in Los Angeles

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O’Donnell: Moving Clash “best option to keep everybody safe”

As the weekend’s preseason Busch Light Clash race approached, the Los Angeles area faced the impending threat of torrential rain and potential flooding starting on Sunday. These weather conditions could persist for days, posing challenges to local resources.

By early Saturday afternoon, NASCAR made the decision to expedite the race instead of enduring prolonged delays. Unless rain disrupts the start, the Busch Light Clash, originally scheduled for Sunday, will now kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

Notably, the heat races and last-chance qualifying races have been eliminated. The top 22 drivers with the fastest speeds in practice will progress to the race, with the final position going to the team highest in owner points not already qualified.


External factors once again compelled NASCAR to navigate uncharted territory. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, explained the decision-making process, stating, “As the weather forecast continued to worsen, the public safety concerns, a lot of things that were going around, there’s a lot of different events going on in the community as well, we started to review Saturday options.”

Expressing gratitude to the Coliseum for making this adjustment possible, O’Donnell acknowledged the challenging situation for fans and the racing community. He emphasized that this shift was the best option to ensure everyone’s safety and to conduct both events.

The Clash also includes an invitational exhibition race from the NASCAR Mexico Series, scheduled to take place after the conclusion of the Clash, weather permitting.

Teams encouraged NASCAR to explore every available option, considering the logistics of heading to Daytona. O’Donnell said, “When you look at logistics, going to Daytona, what’s the best thing for teams? Certainly if we could race Saturday, that’s helpful for them.”

Despite the inconvenience for fans who had purchased Sunday tickets, O’Donnell assured that NASCAR would reach out to every fan to address the situation. He reiterated the commitment to public safety, emphasizing that if inclement weather interferes with Saturday night’s races, NASCAR would reevaluate the situation.

While O’Donnell refrained from speculating on the possibility of canceling the Clash, he noted that the decision would depend on the forecast and the potential for racing under extended poor weather conditions.

Cup Series drivers generally expressed satisfaction with NASCAR’s decision to move the race a day earlier. William Byron, driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, praised the progressive move and suggested flexibility in scheduling races during the week, akin to the NFL’s approach. He highlighted the potential for increased viewership and excitement compared to enduring extended rain delays.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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