We got our first glimpse of NextGen practice on Saturday, with NASCAR Cup Series drivers turning their first laps at the Los Angeles Coliseum to get ready for Sunday’s Busch Clash event. This was the first and only practice session for the exhibition event to be held on Sunday, February 6, 2022, and it did not disappoint.
Chase Elliott was the fastest car in practice in Los Angeles on Saturday, but the rest of the top 5 was a bit more surprising, specifically Kevin Harvick, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley coming in at 2nd-, 3rd-, and 4th-fastest. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch rounded out the top 5 in this session.
Other drivers with surprising speed during the practice were: Landon Cassill (8th-fastest), Cody Ware (13th-fastest), Ryan Preece (15th-fastest), and Todd Gilliland (16th-fastest).
The drivers that had the best long-run speed on Saturday (looking at 30-lap averages) were:
- Chase Elliott – 13.666 seconds
- Kyle Larson – 13.717 seconds
- Tyler Reddick – 13.770 seconds
- Ryan Blaney – 13.817 seconds
- Christopher Bell – 13.881 seconds
It should be noted that the track got faster as the day went on, as more rubber was being laid on the track.
Busch Clash Practice Speeds
|23.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||13.646||-0.191|
|30.||Martin Truex Jr.||13.780||-0.325|