Busch Light Clash At The Coliseum Fantasy NASCAR Mid Pack Predictions
Coliseum Fantasy Spin – In his #54 Joe Gibbs Racing debut at the Coliseum, look for Ty Gibbs to be on his best behavior, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he turns heel out of the box. I view Martinsville as the most similar track, and Gibbs was rowdy there in both 2022 Xfinity races, and in the fall, he wasn’t afraid to wreck his teammates and proceeded to race his way to victory lane. The former #18 is an extremely competitive situation (2nd last year, led 64 laps), and I wouldn’t really read too much into his 23XI performances last year. This is “HIS” car under the JGR mothership roof, and I think he’s primed to have a solid season. In terms of making the Clash, I think he has a good shot, but I don’t think he’ll do much in the main event.
Coliseum Track History – Ty Gibbs has no starts at the LA Coliseum.
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Coliseum Fantasy Spin – Austin Cindric’s rookie stripes are gone, so let’s hope he doesn’t have a sophomore slump. I’ll note, I’m a little concerned about that for Cindric in 2023 since outside of road courses and superspeedways, Cindric didn’t have a single top ten in the second half of the 2022 season. Ultimately in the CIash, I would look for Cindric to have a mid-pack afternoon at best if he makes the main event.
Coliseum Track History – Last year at the LA Coliseum, Austin Cindric missed the Main Event and essentially looked mid-pack in both his Heat Race, and his Last Chance Qualifier. In his Heat Race which turned out to be a stacked field he finished 5th, and then in his Last Chance Qualifier he finished 6th.
Coliseum Fantasy Spin – Aric Almirola’s potential farewell tour #2 will kick off at the Coliseum, and I think he’s a respectable mid-tier option for those looking to roll the dice, but ultimately, I think he’ll just be mid-tier driver at best in the Main Event, if he makes it. In 2022 at the Coliseum, Almirola didn’t make the Clash and didn’t look good in the preliminary races. I will note, I do view him as a driver with upside because of his Martinsville prowess. At “The Paper Clip”, Almirola’s finished in the top ten in 3 of the last 5 races and his 2022 results were 8th (spring) and 16th (fall).
Coliseum Track History – In 2030 if you ever play NASCAR trivia and the question comes up, “Who was the first driver to crash in the Next Gen car?”, the answer will be Aric Almirola. In the preliminary races, Almirola only beat BJ McLeod in Heat Race #1 (8th) and then in his Last Chance Qualifier he was wrecked on lap 5 while running in 5th which marked the end of his race which led to his 9th.
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