Busch Light Clash At The Coliseum Fantasy NASCAR Front Runner Rankings
Coliseum Fantasy Spin – Chase Briscoe could very well be a contender at the Coliseum. The #14 was fast last year in the inaugural event, and I think Briscoe belonged in the conversation of being one of the best. Courtesy of his asterisk mark result in the “Main Event” (22nd), he’ll also be flying below the radar since most people don’t really do their homework. I view Martinsville as the most similar track and in 2022 at “The Paper Clip”, Briscoe had results of 9th and 10th for the season.
Coliseum Track History – Last year at the Coliseum, Chase Briscoe was a contender. In his Heat Race he started 7th and finished 2nd, and then in the Clash, Briscoe’s race came to an early conclusion during the lap 54 caution while running in 4th. Although his race was short, Briscoe had the best Total Speed Ranking.
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Coliseum Fantasy Spin – Alex Bowman didn’t make the Clash last year and didn’t look good anytime he seen the track, but I think there’s no question the #48 team is capable of having a quick turnaround. That was race #1 in the Next Gen, and Hendrick has clearly learned lessons and improved since then. For that reason, I’m not putting any stock in his performance last year. I view Martinsville as the most similar track and Bowman has been elite there, so there’s no question in my mind he’s capable of adapting once his setup is close. At Martinsville, Bowman’s a recent winner and since 2020 minus spring 2021 his average finish is 6.25. This weekend, Blake Harris who was formerly Michael McDowell’s crew chief is making his #48 Hendrick debut.
Coliseum Track History – Last year at The LA Coliseum, Alex Bowman was a disappointment and didn’t make the main event. In the preliminary races he finished 6th in Heat Race #2, and then in his Last Chance Qualifier he looked like a mid-pack performer but crashed in the closing laps. Shortly before his demise, Bowman was running 7th (out of 10), but in the middle portion he typically ran around 5th.
Martin Truex Jr.
Coliseum Fantasy Spin – I hope Martin Truex Jr. has used the off-season to refocus and recharge for what might prove to be his “Farewell Tour.” Last year at the Coliseum, Truex was quite uncompetitive and basically mailed it in during the Clash, or at the very least, the #19 was junk. I will note, I wouldn’t be surprised if Truex has a huge rebound at the Coliseum in terms of performance. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t run well, and after a dismal 2022, I hope he’s viewing 2023 as a revenge tour. I view Martinsville as the most similar track and he’s without a doubt one of the premiere performers there. That said, Truex’s Martinsville results were uncharacteristically bad, 21st and 22nd place results last year.
Coliseum Track History – Last year at the LA Coliseum, Martin Truex Jr. would win my award for being the most disappointing driver of the weekend. Over the exhibition events, Truex finished 7th in his Heat Race, completely sat out The Last Chance Qualifier since he was locked into the Clash by a points technicality and then in the main event he struggled and finished an uninspiring 15th. In the race, Truex had a 17.8 average running position, the 20th best Green Flag Speed and the 21st best Total Speed Ranking. Keep in mind for all of those stats, there were only 23 cars in the race.
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