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Martin Truex Jr and the Busch Light Clash

Martin Truex Jr and the Busch Light Clash

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Martin Truex Jr 2023

Martin Truex Jr is returning to NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2023 with a fresh strategy on his No. 19 Toyota Camry TRD and an aim of ending his winless streak that kept him out of the playoffs in 2022.

Truex will be seeking his 32nd career victory and move into a tie with Dale Jarrett for second most wins in series history. Additionally, Truex hopes to break his streak of not winning the Daytona 500, which has eluded him despite starting on pole since 2011.

1. Busch Light Clash

Though not the biggest race in NASCAR Cup Series, the Busch Light Clash is an essential event that gets fans pumped for the upcoming season. Hosted at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, this exhibition race serves to kickoff 2023 NASCAR season and give them a taste of what can be expected during regular season action.

Monty Roberts, the brand manager for Busch Beer, decided to create an exhibition race as a way of showcasing their newly formed brand and garnering fans interest in their product. Through this race, they could show their commitment to racing while simultaneously showcasing how great their beer tasted.

Three years passed before the race took off and became reality, becoming known simply as the Busch Light Clash.

From its start in 1994 until 2022, Daytona International Speedway hosted the race. This year it will move to a purpose-built quarter mile track within the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Although this marks a dramatic departure from how the race has been traditionally run, it's also beneficial for the sport. Drivers will now be able to compete at various venues around the country and give fans an insight into what their future racing experiences might hold.

The Busch Light Clash will feature four 25-lap heat races and a 50-lap last chance qualifier. Drivers will then be ranked according to their performance in these races to decide the starting lineup for the main event.

In each heat and last chance qualifying, the top-three finishers will receive medals shaped like the Coliseum, providing them with a unique piece of memorabilia to proudly display at home. This will increase the intensity of the race and encourage drivers to push themselves harder than they might normally in an event without an official podium.

2. Daytona 500

This weekend, the 2023 NASCAR season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway with the Daytona 500. This race holds immense significance to fans and drivers alike - it's one of the oldest races in existence (first run on February 22nd, 1959), as well as one of racing's most prestigious. Notable moments throughout history include Sterling Marlin getting out under a red flag in 2002 to fix his damaged fender or Juan Pablo Montoya taking out a jet dryer and setting the track ablaze in 2012.

In 1959, Daytona International Speedway hosted the inaugural DAYTONA 500 race over three days and featured 32 cars - making it the last race to be run on a beach-road course before racing moved to Daytona International Speedway in 1960.

In 2022, Martin Truex Jr endured a winless season, finishing 17th in the regular season and missing out on a spot in the Championship 4. Though many factors outside his control contributed to this decline in performance, Truex remains convinced there was something he could have done differently to improve his results.

Thankfully, he has enjoyed success at several tracks this year. His season began with victory at Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum and now he hopes to continue that momentum in the Daytona 500. A win would get him back on track and give him the form he's been lacking since 2022. Starting on the outside row alongside Bubba Wallace, he should have plenty of speed for the big day.

3. Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega Superspeedway, situated on an unassuming stretch of land in Lincoln, Alabama that was previously used for soybean farming, is widely regarded as the largest, fastest and most competitive race track on the circuit. Since opening its gates in 1969, this 2.66-mile (2.8 km) circuit has exceeded all expectations set forth by its creators when it comes to speed, competition and size.

In 2023, Martin Truex Jr is poised to continue his dominance at one of racing's toughest venues. After a slow start to the season - including a DNF at Daytona and crash at Texas Motor Speedway - Truex has come back with three consecutive victories and will look to keep it going this weekend at Talladega.

Talladega's tri-oval format, with one side extending into a third curve that hugging the grandstands, encourages extensive drafting. Furthermore, this track has pit road that does not span the start/finish line but runs down the middle of sweeping turns three and four.

This makes for an exciting track, which has seen plenty of multi-car crashes over the years. Additionally, there are often thrilling finishes on this circuit.

For instance, in 1986 26 of the 40 starters managed to lead a lap and two-thirds of the field remained competitive throughout. Unfortunately, The Big One--an almost certain multi-car crash--came just before the conclusion of the final lap when Sterling Marlin ignited it.

Talladega is the biggest race track in North America, featuring 2.66 miles of asphalt and 33 degrees banked turns. It also offers free camping for fans as one of NASCAR's few tracks that offers this luxury. Talladega regularly produces exciting close finishes and offers viewers some of the best racing in America.

4. Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol Motor Speedway, also known as The Last Great Colosseum, is a short track renowned for its intense racing action. Nicknamed The Last Great Colosseum, it boasts one of NASCAR's loudest tracks with stadium seating and steep banking that make it popular among both racers and fans alike.

Northeast Tennessee's race track, situated in northeast Tennessee, has been around for over 60 years and is one of the most beloved venues on the NASCAR schedule. It's renowned for its steep banking, all-concrete surface, two pit roads and stadium-like seating arrangements.

Although this track is shorter than many of its shorter counterparts, it still features high banking and makes for a fast track. The initial starting grid extends nearly halfway around the track, meaning slower qualifying drivers start the race approximately half a lap down.

Bristol can be a challenging place to drive due to its claustrophobic environment and intense atmosphere for drivers. There is also an unusually high number of yellow-flag cautions at the track, leading to cars losing valuable time.

Therefore, it is imperative to arrive early for a race at Bristol. The facility requires all bags - including coolers and purses - be inspected upon entry.

It is essential to remember that the track does not permit beach balls, beer, balloons, noise makers or any other item considered dangerous in public. Furthermore, umbrellas and bicycles are strictly forbidden. Fans may only bring one 14 inch item with them.

5. Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Martin Truex Jr's announcement that he would be returning to the NASCAR Cup Series full time in 2023 was met with much anticipation. It was an incredible coup for Joe Gibbs Racing and Truex himself; he went on to win the season opener at Talladega Superspeedway before going on to sweep three races at Nashville Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway and Kentucky Speedway.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world's most iconic race tracks and one of America's largest sports venues. At 2.5 miles long, it could fit all 14 Big Ten football stadiums inside its infield with room to spare, according to IndyStar.

At IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, this race track has become a major destination for race fans and tourists alike, drawing an average of 86 entries annually and 250,000 fans on average.

Despite high gas prices and inflation fears, Indianapolis is on the rise this year. Tourists have brought in big dollars, giving local businesses a much needed boost after the 2020 season. Hotels are nearly sold out while Airbnb properties around the racetrack are filling up quickly.

No doubt, the Indianapolis 500 is a much bigger race than Busch Light Clash or Daytona 500, yet both events possess their own distinct charms. For example, while Busch Light Clash may not draw as many viewers on TV, it still features some prominent drivers and provides plenty of thrills for attendees.

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the greatest sporting events in history and it remains a major goal for drivers. As an iconic race in NASCAR's calendar, it will only grow in importance as their series moves away from oval tracks towards dirt tracks.

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