Martin Truex Jr. started the 2023 NASCAR season on a high note with a victory in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Sunday, which was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Truex started the Clash on the outside row alongside Aric Almirola, but fought his way to stay in contention for the top spot throughout the race and avoided being involved in any of the 16 caution flags waved over the 150 laps.
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The No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota passed Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson for the win. Busch finished in third place after he was caught in a spin late in the race. Both Busch and Dillon led Richard Childress Racing into the top five.
Bubba Wallace was fighting for first in the No. 23 Door Dash Toyota, but Dillon spun him on lap 143. Wallace finished 22nd and the last car on the lead lap.
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Although it’s a pre-season race, Truex will surely be happy to be at Victory Lane and snap out of his winless drought. The 2017 champion didn’t win a race last season and last won a regular-season event at Richmond in 2021.
The 42-year-old New Jersey native has 31 career NASCAR Cup wins.
It is the second year in a row that the event has been held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Clash had previously been held in the days leading up to the Daytona 500, but the event was moved.
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The 2023 season officially kicks off with the Daytona 500 on February 19.