The 2024 NASCAR season gets underway tonight! Yes, we have a Saturday night Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum instead of Sunday thanks to the atmospheric river heading to Los Angeles tonight. This bump up from Sunday to Saturday has some key implications for us for DraftKings and FanDuel DFS — both of which moved up the start time. Weather forecast aside now, how are we approaching tonight’s race and how is the field being set for the The Clash now that the race moved up? We’ll get to that as well as my favorite plays from each salary tier on DraftKings and FanDuel below.

How Is The Busch Light Clash Field Being Set?

The simple answer is practice. They are running practice at 5:35 pm ET on Saturday. The fastest 22 drivers during the practice session will make the field for The Clash that starts at 8pm ET on Saturday night. The final 23rd spot for the main event will be filled by the driver who finished the highest in the 2023 points standings who didn’t finish high enough in practice to make the field on speed. This means that even if Ryan Blaney is slow in practice, he’ll make the field being he is the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Champion. NASCAR has scrapped the heat races and the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) so if you’re slow in practice, you just go home.

Entry List For Busch Light Clash

Below is the full entry list for the Clash tonight. Reminder, this is the full list and only 23 of these drivers will make the race following practice.

Practice Results For The Clash

Below is the practice results for the only practice run on Saturday. It is only showing the top-22 speeds plus the driver who qualified on 2023 points.

Coming soon


DFS Lineups For 2024 NASCAR Busch Light Clash

So with the rush of the race and less time to see cars on track, how are we building lineups for DraftKings and FanDuel for the race? Well, practice speed will be nice to go off of, though that can’t be the only thing. The track shouldn’t change that much between practice and the race since there is only a few hours between the two events and the new surface won’t take a lot of rubber. So using practice speed is helpful to see who should be able to run up front, but remember race speed and race situations are totally different from practice. There will be a lot more bumping throughout the field during the race than practice since no one wants their car screwed up during practice. For example, last year no one touched Denny Hamlin in practice but running up front in the race he was bumped out of the lead fairly quickly.

While the track is small, a quarter-mile in length, and tight, passing was possible last year in this car as Kyle Busch showed. That being said, we also shouldn’t bank on a driver moving from the back of the field to the top-10 that easily, or at all. Below are the results from the two clashes that have been held at the coliseum. Take the results with a grain of salt though as there were far more cautions in the second race than the first race. So in general what does it come down to for building lineups?

Firstly, with a smaller field, rostership will be high for the most popular drivers. So in a way we want to get a bit weird, if going with multiple builds, and hope for a bit of chaos. Secondly, while there are 150 laps in the race, with only green flag laps counting, don’t expect a single laps led dominator tonight. Last year there were a few drivers that split those 150 laps with the winner only leading 25 laps. Lastly, we’re looking to get as many drivers in the build who can finish top-7-10 that we can since finishing position points will be the largest portion of DFS scoring tonight.

Previous Busch Light Clash Results

2022 Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum Loop Data Results - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
DriverSTFINAVGPC DPassPassedPS DQ PASSFast%T15TOT LedLapsRating
Joey Logano412.5+393+6920100.0%35150133.7
Kyle Busch121.7-165+1623100.0%64150134.3
Austin Dillon1036.9+7139+4137100.0%015094.2
Erik Jones1648.3+12175+12179100.0%015088.5
Kyle Larson854.3+3109+199100.0%0150105
William Byron765.5+11212+0124100.0%015093.5
Cole Custer14710.9+72319+4238100.0%015080.9
Christopher Bell11810.3+31813+5189100.0%015074.8
AJ Allmendinger21912.8+122715+1219571.3%015057.4
Kevin Harvick191013.1+92619+7161370.7%015072.3
Chase Elliott151112+4215+1619588.7%015064.3
Harrison Burton221215.9+101612+47039.3%015054.2
Ricky Stenhouse Jr91318.3-41217-54024.7%015048.2
Daniel Suarez51411.2-91637-2114282.7%015066
Martin Truex Jr231517.8+81411+34223.3%014938.3
Michael McDowell121614.3-41532-1712075.3%014950.5
Ryan Blaney131711.7-41313+012376.0%014752.7
Bubba Wallace201819.9+299+0000.0%014632.3
Justin Haley3197.3-16914-591276.7%0116101.3
Ryan Preece182019-2137+6000.7%07532.8
Tyler Reddick22114.6-1932+13635.3%515394.3
Chase Briscoe62216.1-1654+15135.3%05357.5
Denny Hamlin172321.9-668-2010.0%05231
2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Loop Data Results - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
DriverSTFINAVGPC DPassPassedPS DQ PASSFast%T15TOT LedLapsRating
Martin Truex Jr212.2+1829-21814100.0%25150120.8
Austin Dillon1024.7+81934-15193100.0%0150102.5
Kyle Busch638.5+33930+929783.3%0150110.8
Alex Bowman545.7+11931-12185100.0%015087.2
Kyle Larson1459.5+91956-37191100.0%015079
Tyler Reddick1168.4+51673-57154100.0%015086.8
Ryan Preece1676.1+92354-312213100.0%4315078.5
Ross Chastain12811.9+41963-4419096.0%015069.7
Denny Hamlin3910.8-62483-59131770.0%26150111.7
William Byron4105.4-61732-15176100.0%015091.5
Justin Haley91114.5-23675-3920047.3%015071.3
Kevin Harvick181217.9+63880-4213525.3%015055.3
Christopher Bell231319.3+103772-35448.0%015058.8
Noah Gragson131413.7-14076-3626067.3%015055.3
Chase Briscoe71512.7-83361-2824476.7%015079
Joey Logano171613.5+13161-3020170.0%015057.8
Ryan Blaney151721-23064-3411116.0%015049.8
Aric Almirola11815.3-172777-5071333.3%1615078.2
Daniel Suarez191916.3+02482-5812462.7%015059.3
AJ Allmendinger262020.7+64297-5511020.7%015040.3
Chase Elliott222122.5+12764-37000.0%015039
Bubba Wallace8224.2-141662-46161194.7%4015087.8
Todd Gilliland252322.4+22356-33000.7%014030.5
Michael McDowell212417.7-33798-619127.3%013753.5
Austin Cindric272523.5+22249-27020.0%010632.5
Ty Gibbs242623.7-23266-34050.7%08130.3
Erik Jones202726.2-735-2000.0%01623.2

If any driver below doesn’t make the field, the write-up maybe swapped out for another driver in that salary range.

Top Tier Salary Plays

Kyle Larson

He’s one of only three drivers to finish in the top-five in both Clashes in L.A. Aside from that he’s one of the top short track drivers in general. Larson does come at a cost, being the priciest driver on both site, but the consistency in races like this one, on tracks like this, is what you’re paying for. We’re not as concerned with the typical 5-6x value we’re hunting with guys like this, we just need a good finish from him to make him worth it.

Denny Hamlin

Not only is Hamlin on the pole but he's also very fast. He had the fastest track time in practice by more than a tenth of a second, which is huge here. Hamlin did have a fast car last year before being shuffled back early in the race and never quite getting on a good foot. He'll be aware of that this year and likely be better at defending it but expect him to be the most popular pick for laps led.

Kyle Busch

Finishing P3 here last year was notable for how many cars he actually passed to pull that off. He moved up from the back a few times thanks to being stuck back there on restarts. If he can figure out the passing once more, the speed, or lack thereof, shouldn’t be a concern. Not to mention that if he starts near the front, lap traffic might not be as much of a problem for him with him figuring out how to pass better than most.

Mid-Tier Salary Plays

Ryan Preece

Like I mentioned on the podcast earlier this weekend, Preece group on in this style of racing on this style of track. He's made for this and has a car designed for it too. The SHR Fords were better on shorter flatter tracks than most other setups last year and that appears to be holding true to start this year. Preece is gonna be a popular pick in the mid-field for his history and successes last year at similar tracks. 

Bubba Wallace

Yes, we’re back with Wallace to start the year but frankly it’s warranted. He led nearly 40 laps in this race a year ago before being unceremoniously bumped off the lead and finishing P22. The Toyotas as a group were quick in the short track package and Bubba really made gains in his short track performance in general. He may be the most popular driver thanks to performance and salary.

Ty Gibbs

The Gibbs cars are fast this weekend. Rolled off the track fast and that showed with a high qualifying spot. That speed won't matter that much if he gets bumped and bullied a bit. That's the risk here is that he falls back, much like his JGR teammate last year that he gets shuffled back. He maybe the least played JGR car in the race as a bonus to go with this price tag.

Value Tier Salary Plays

John Hunter Nemechek

This is by no way a comfy feeling pick, but then again no one in the value tier is, at least for Saturday. He’s back in the Cup Series after a successful couple of years in the lower divisions. So why Nemechek? He’s in a Toyota for Legacy Motor Club and Toyotas were typically good in this package a year ago. Also expect them to showcase their newest team well early in the season. While he’s not run this event previously, he was solid on short tracks the last time he was in the Cup Series.

Todd Gilliland

The Todd father was one of our favorite value plays last year and that's not changing this year, at least for this race. He had solid speed in practice and qualified his way in to the main event on that speed. We don't need much from him as he can hold his spot and be useful for us.

Driver Pool To Build From

Top TierMid-TierValue Tier
Kyle Larson 10400Tyler Reddick 8600Michael McDowell 6400
Martin Truex Jr 10200Brad Keselowski 8500John H. Nemechek 6300
Denny Hamlin 9700   Corey Lajoie 5600
Kyle Busch 9500Ryan Preece 7800Todd Gilliland  
William Byron  Bubba Wallace 7600   
Top TierMid-TierValue Tier
Kyle Larson 13000Tyler Reddick 10500John H. Nemechek 7000
Martin Truex Jr 13000Ryan Preece 10500Michael McDowell 6500
Denny Hamlin 12500Brad Keselowski 10000Corey Lajoie 6000
Kyle Busch 12000   Todd Gillland  
William Byron  Bubba Wallace 8500