It’s been three months since Ryan Blaney captured his first NASCAR Cup Series title by just one point at Phoenix Raceway. Now, the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season is set to begin with an exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Since moving to the Coliseum, the Busch Light Clash’s become an important indicator for the season. Prior winners have won the Cup Series title (in 2022) and the regular season title (2023). Winning’s been key in recent years and here’s who’s leading the 2024 Clash at the Coliseum odds:
Location: LA Memorial Coliseum, California
Distance: 150 laps, 37.50 miles (60.350 kilometers)
Favorites at the 2024 Clash at the Coliseum 🏁
Martin Truex Jr. (+900)
Truex Jr. won one of his four races in this event last season. It was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s best finish prior to his good run of results starting in Martinsville. The Coliseum track is by far the shortest track of the season at a quarter-mile so it’s hard to predict who could shine. Truex Jr.’s win in 2023 was a big jump from his 15th-place finish in 2022. He was the most consistent driver in the regular season last year so he’s a safe choice to start the NASCAR race schedule.
Kyle Larson (+900)
The favorite for most events last year, Larson came within one point of a second Cup Series title in 2023. Short tracks aren’t his best format (four of his 23 career wins) but he’s usually in or near the top 10. Larson had arguably the best momentum of any driver by the end of the playoffs. He’ll want to start stronger in 2024 to set the tone early. He finished fifth in this event in both 2022 and 2023. He’s a safe bet on an unpredictable short track.
Kyle Busch (+1000)
Busch struggled in the playoffs and couldn’t make it out of the Round of 12 in 2023 after three wins during the regular season. His 14th-place finish in the NASCAR standings marked the worst of his career since his first full-time year in the Cup Series. Luckily, he can start strong in Los Angeles. He’s raced well in the Coliseum with a second-place finish in 2022 and third in 2023.
William Byron (+1000)
Byron had a Cup Series-best six wins in 2023 but fell just short of a championship title in Phoenix. His fourth-place result put him two points behind Blaney for the title and one point behind Larson in the final standings. Prior results at the Coliseum include sixth in 2022 and 10th in 2023. He’ll likely be near the front again but a win could be tough.
Ryan Blaney (+1000)
The defending champion’s enjoyed the off-season, including proposing to longtime girlfriend Gianna Tulio. His title win in Phoenix made it two championships in a row for Team Penske. They’ll be looking for a three-peat in 2024. He’ll have a new spotter this season and that could take time to come to fruition. His results in the Coliseum aren’t good with 17th place in both 2022 and 2023. His odds see a title bump but aren’t worth it this week.
Denny Hamlin (+1000)
Hamlin faltered in the Round of 8 last year and couldn’t capture that elusive first title after a strong regular season. He’s had mixed results in the Coliseum with 23rd in 2022 and ninth in 2023. He shines on short tracks compared to other formats in his career. A win here would be a surprise but a good sign of what’s to come.
2024 Clash at the Coliseum Odds: Season Opener Sleepers
Tyler Reddick (+2000)
Reddick made a big jump in results at the Coliseum from 2022 to 2023. Sixth last season looked much better than the 21st-place finish in 2022. It’s hard to find longer odds for drivers with multiple top-10 results in Los Angeles. Reddick’s sixth-place finish in the Cup Series standings in 2023 was his best career result. Given his recent run in Los Angeles, he’s a solid sleeper choice.
Austin Dillon (+3300)
Dillon’s the only driver besides Busch with top-three results in each of the Busch Light Clash races at the Coliseum. Second in 2023 and third in 2022 make him a top racer at the uniquely short track. His NASCAR odds this week are surprisingly long given his track record. Dillon’s worth backing with a better payout on offer compared to the likes of Larson, Busch, Byron, and Blaney.
2024 Clash at the Coliseum odds: Picks for Sunday’s race
NASCAR didn’t make us wait long for the new season. There’s plenty of intrigue and competitors for the 2024 Cup Series title. This race won’t count for the standings but it’ll be exciting to see some racing ahead of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel.
Among the favorites for victory, Busch looks like the best bet. His track record shows he can keep at the front in the Coliseum. If you’re looking for a better payout, Dillon’s is by far the best choice. His odds belie a strong track record at the tricky Coliseum layout.