Nascar Racing

New Era Begins At The Bush Light Clash In LA

From a NASCAR Fan’s View


This weekend will mark the beginning of a new era for the NASCAR Cup series just like the end of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Season marked the end of an era in the Series. As I think back over the last year, there are a lot of things that have sparked a lot of memories in what I consider to be one of the most remarkable and best NASCAR seasons ever.

I’m sure there are many in agreement with me and just as many that might disagree. That’s okay and I am fine with all of that but, the 2021 Cup season was definitely a season that will be remembered for a long time and I truly believe people on both sides of the discussion will remember the year because it was simply a great year in NASCAR with some of the best racing ever.

Now, just as sure as I am that NASCAR fans across the country will agree, although for differing reasons, I know many were disappointed that their driver didn’t perform as well as expected and many of those didn’t like the way the year ended. I, however, was not one of those. Kyle Larson drove to the 2021 Cup Championship and did so humbly and with his talent. Will he repeat last year’s accomplishments?

That is one of the biggest question marks as the NASCAR Cup series enters this new season of 2022. In fact, there are a lot of questions on everyone’s minds and most won’t be answered until they actually hit the tracks over the coming months.

Now, the Next Gen cars are in every shop and it remains to be seen how they will affect the outcome of this season. Though all the teams have been working on the new car for a couple of years or so, no one really knows what the racing will be like because they haven’t been on the track in an actual multi-car racing format. Will it equalize the field or will some come out of the box with an advantage over the rest? Will it benefit the younger drivers or the veterans? From this fan’s view, I reckon, time will tell.

I don’t know about you but, I will be glad when the teams take to the track on Sunday and we can get The Busch Light Clash out of the way and into the books. I think I’ve heard enough hype about LA, the Coliseum and all they went through to make the football field a quarter mile racetrack. We’ve all been inundated to the point of saturation with every little detail about this track, the Next Gen car and everything in between. Sure, I know there are a lot of questions. I know there are a lot of unknowns and I know that no one actually has any idea of how this race weekend is going to turn out and which driver will come away from the Busch Light Clash at the LA Coliseum as the winner.

From listening to the drivers talk about this track, it sounds as if they’re going to treat it like a Saturday night short track with beating, banging and moving people out of the way. Some call that racing. I’m not so sure I do but I do understand the mentality. It reminds me of something I used to hear drivers say when I was short-track racing. “Look man, I tried you high and I tried you low then it was time for you to go.”

Look, I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud and I’m not putting down what they have accomplished at the Coliseum in a very short period of time. I’m just weary of hearing the same stories over and over again and most all of it is speculation. Fortunately – and thankfully I might add – today is the day they hit the track and some of the questions will be answered. Which brings to mind something that hasn’t happened much in the last two years and is supposed to be happening every weekend this season – practice and qualifying sessions are returning to the Cup series.

I don’t know exactly how I feel about that. I did kind of enjoy seeing how some of the veteran drivers and crew chiefs struggled with not getting their practice time in. Some adapted very well to that situation and others… well… let’s just say it did show there were some weaknesses throughout some of the teams last season. I guess it really was harder on the rookies coming into the Cup cars from the other series. At least that’s what many have said and I do understand that. Perhaps this year will be the year they can catch up since everyone is experiencing this new car for the first time. That’s another one of those things I say, “I guess time will tell.”

This is just a questioning observation on my part but, is adding practice sessions and qualifying back to the race weekend something that will actually help or is it possible more should be doing what Kyle Larson has been doing? He races all the time in all kinds of cars at all kinds of tracks and wins a lot wherever he goes and in everything he drives.

So, I ask you; is it because he is just overly talented as a driver or is it because he drives so many different types of cars on a bunch of different tracks as often as he can and that’s what helps him adapt and drive the Cup cars the way he does with such success? Hey, I know he is very talented and has been around the Cup series for a while now. I also know he isn’t the only very talented driver out there. I’m just amazed at the schedule he keeps and how much success he has on a regular basis wherever he goes. This weekend won’t give us much of an idea of how the rest of the season will go for any of the teams or drivers because there isn’t another track like this one in the series. Like they say… The real racing starts at the Daytona 500…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view.
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© February 5, 2022 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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All music TwoBuckThemes from Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.