Stewart-Haas Racing: Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

NKP #41: Ryan Preece, Stewart Haas Racing, United Rentals Ford Mustang and #9: Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang

●  Qualified 22nd in final practice.

●  Finished seventh in Feature, completing all 151 laps.                     

“We were good. We weren’t great. We probably needed a little bit more to kind of get into that top-three or five group. We were kind of just OK there, but for us starting 22nd and get to seventh was good. I didn’t even think we were going to make the race. I was walking back to change and get ready to head to the airport and I realized we made it, so from that to seventh is something to be happy about. It’s a good way to start the season with a little bit of confidence. It was going to be kind of a kick in the butt if we didn’t make the race, so it was nice to just make the race and then be able to go forward and pass cars, and a lot of good cars, too. This doesn’t really mean anything for the rest of the year, but for our confidence and from a team-building standpoint, I feel like it’s a really good start.”

Ryan Preece, driver of the No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang 

●  Qualified 12th in final practice.

●  Finished 11th in Feature, completing all 151 laps.                          

“For us, we really struggled with balance all night. I felt like we were really good on restarts, but for the long runs, we struggled and I feel like 11th was kind of a victory for us. I think we’re going to really have to take a deep dive into what we have going on to continue to elevate ourselves because I know all of us had really high expectations to come in here and do what we did last year, and I know we’re going to continue doing that when we go to other short tracks this year.”

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 10 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang 

●  Qualified 17th in final practice.

●  Finished 20th in Feature, completing 147 of 151 laps.                      

“Overall, it was a good weekend. Our first objective was to make the race. We did that, and then got a little mixed up as a team on communication and had some errors to start the race and went a couple of laps down. Still super proud of our team. It was our first weekend together. Really proud of the communication between Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief) and myself and spotter Andy Houston and the rest of the guys, just making good adjustments to make the race. There are a lot of positives. Our communication mishaps as a team going into the race with the modified schedule – we were misinformed on some stuff. Other than that, I’m proud of these guys and proud of the effort, thankful for the hard work and just grateful to be back out here. Our goal was to make the race and, although we want to win, we at least got to go out there and be a part of the show. Thanks to Rush Truck Centers and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing. It was really fun driving the new Dark Horse Mustang. I can’t wait to get back out there. We’ll clean it up for Daytona. Thank goodness this wasn’t a points race.”

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 4 SUNNYD Ford Mustang

●  25th in final practice, did not advance to Feature.

“Obviously, it was definitely a fun experience to race here at the Coliseum. I feel like everybody did a good job. Obviously, it was a lot happening really quickly there, and I thought we did the best we could. We just barely missed it. I think we just needed a little bit more time to make some adjustments there. Ultimately, we were really close to making it into the show. We’ll just get ready and get ’em at Daytona.”

Race Notes:

●  Denny Hamlin won the Busch Light Clash by .61 of a second over runner-up Kyle Busch. Ryan Blaney rounded out the podium. 

●  Eleven of the 23 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum kicked off its 101st anniversary with the Busch Light Clash.

Next Up:

The official start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season begins with Daytona Speedweek Feb. 14-18 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Daytona 500 qualifying takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 14 with live coverage on FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Only the top-two positions will be locked into the 66th Daytona 500. The rest of the field will earn their respective starting positions in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel – twin 150-mile heat races that set the rest of the Daytona 500 field. The Duel gets underway at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 with live coverage on FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Daytona Speedweek then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


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