Clash at the Coliseum - A Fresh Look
A Candid View of NASCAR by Quinton "Q" Dodson
February 9, 2023
The 2023 NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum was by far the best motorsports event I've been to in a few years. I must admit I was very skeptical I'm going to a NASCAR event. With an open mind I decided to attend and I was not disappointed.
The event for me started off on Friday with a in car ride from Driver #7 Corey LaJoie. With credentials in hand, I met Corey along with a lot of other members from the press for my two hot laps on the quarter-mile track inside the Coliseum. I also ran into friend and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinhart, who was the first to get in with Corey for the Hot laps. Although Corey seemed to be a very good driver, he didn't have enough to qualify in the main event. I guess he gave it all he had during the media hot laps.
On Saturday, drivers were able to practice before driving in the qualifying heats for the main event. They put the drivers into groups of 12 and they ran for the best times to see how the podium would be set. It was definitely a different way of setting the pole for this particular NASCAR race. From my understanding it's not done that way on other tracks. Since this was my first true NASCAR event there was and still is a lot for me to learn.
Going into Sunday's race the atmosphere was definitely heating up around the Coliseum!! It was the first time I've seen such a diverse crowd at a NASCAR event even on TV. They had Cypress Hill open up the Event on Sunday with Wiz Khalifa performing at the halfway point break! Hollywood actor Robe Lowe represented Los Angeles as the Grand Marshall.
As the green flag dropped the stadium continued to fill up with Angelinos. A few laps and crashes into the race I found myself cheering for Bubba Wallace as he creeped up to the front of the pack. He led the race for quite a few laps. It was exciting to see the veteran drivers chase after him and purposely bump him in the turns due to the small track. Being a driver myself I know what kind of fight it was to stay leading the pack. Eventually he was passed and found himself chasing the top 3 for a few laps.
The track was so small and tight it took very strategic moves to make a pass. Or you just bumped someone out of the way. Is that legal in NASCAR?? Seems like that opened up the door for crashes and injuries. Didn't seem to matter out there on Sunday. The crowd was enjoying the action nevertheless. Bubba ended up getting bumped and pushed into the wall with less than 10 laps to go. That placed him in dead last and I believe he finished somewhere down there. You could see the frustration on his face after the race.
This year's winners received medals instead of trophies in honor of the 75th Anniversary of NASCAR, as well as having the event at the Coliseum where the Olympics were twice held. Martin Truex Jr. ended up winning the race with Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch taking second and third respectively.
All in all, it was a fun weekend at the races. I can appreciate NASCAR trying to make the sport diverse but let's face it, they have a long way to go and a lot of work to do!! With that said, they are taking the necessary steps to make it happen. Good Job NASCAR!
About Q: Quinton "Q" Dodson, formerly from the hit MTV show "Pimp My Ride" and the World Famous West Coast Customs, needs very little introduction to the folks that have been following the automotive and motorsports industry from coast to coast over the past few decades. Q was raised in Long Beach, California and played Pop Warner football with teammates Willie McGinnest (former USC linebacker and 3x Super Bowl Champion with New England Patriots) and world-famous rapper Snoop Dogg as quarterback before pursuing the motorsport industry.
Q's standing is also synonymous with SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association), having attended and promoted the biggest car show of its kind for 24 of the 30 years of the event's history in Las Vegas. Having worked and raced in many automotive and motorcycle disciplines, his motorsport and street cred is undeniable and continues to draw huge numbers in social media broadcasts. Q is currently employed at TRION SuperCars of Las Vegas and co-owner of Zee Designs in San Fernando California. He can be followed on TikTok @thatstheguyfrom and on Instagram @thats_theguyfrom