The 2023 NASCAR season will officially get started on Sunday, February 19, with the Daytona 500. Ahead of that, there will be an exhibition race on Sunday, February 5. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California will host the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. Qualifying for this event will get started on Saturday, February 4 and will continue on Sunday prior to the race. The field of drivers will be narrowed down to 27 cars, which is four more than last year’s race.
A unique format will be utilized, similar to the one seen in 2022. Saturday’s qualifying event will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Each driver will run a two-lap qualifier, trying to set their fastest time. The results from this qualifier will help determine the starting lineups for the four qualifying heats on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, the driver that finishes with the top qualifying time will earn the pole position in the first heat. The driver finishing in second will earn the pole for Sunday’s second qualifying heat, the third will sit on the pole for the third qualifying heat, and the fourth will lead the fourth qualifying heat. The driver with the fifth fastest time will be second in heat No. 1, and this will continue as the four heats are filled.
The qualifying heats are scheduled to begin Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on Fox and will run every 15 minutes. These heats are different in that they are going to be 25 laps sprints with only green flag laps counting toward the total. The top five finishers in these heats will automatically be entered in the race field for Sunday night totaling 20 drivers.
The remaining drivers will head to the two last-chance qualifiers. These races will be increased to 50 laps beginning at 6:10 p.m. ET, still on Fox. The top three finishers in each one will advance to the Clash race bringing the total field to 26. The final 27th spot in the starting lineup will be awarded to the driver that finished the highest in the 2022 standings and hasn’t yet earned a spot in the race.
The race itself is tentatively scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, but that is subject to change depending on the length of the six different qualifiers, the driver introductions and the pre-race concert.