Due to unprecedented rain forecast in the Los Angeles area on Sunday, NASCAR made a rare decision to move the Clash at the Coliseum to Saturday evening. Brad Keselowski took home an eighth-place finish in the Castrol Edge Ford, qualifying his way in from a modified format earlier that afternoon.
The original weekend schedule featured practice and heat races on Saturday, with a last-chance qualifier and the feature set for Sunday. With several inches of rain predicted in and around LA Sunday through at least Tuesday, NASCAR made major adjustments to the weekend, leaving three practice sessions Saturday afternoon, the last of which was effectively qualifying, with the top-22 overall cars on speed advancing to the Clash.
After an initial struggle in practice, Keselowski ultimately turned the 13th-quickest time in the field, securing his place into the Clash for the first time in its three-year history at the Coliseum. Teammate Chris Buescher ultimately did not qualify his way in.
The format for the Clash remained the same, however, with 150 laps scheduled on the quarter-mile track, with a built-in halfway break at lap 75. The opening 70 laps ran under green as Keselowski slipped to 18th, before a flurry of cautions took place in the next five laps to get to the break.
Keselowski was scored 17th at the time as the final 75 laps saw a combined five restarts. He skated through an incident at lap 77 which put him 13th, and from there steadily worked his way through the field as the cautions were displayed. The last 10 laps alone saw two separate restarts as Keselowski fired off 11th on the final green flag, and sliced through last-lap mayhem to finish eighth.
The Daytona 500 officially kicks off the 2024 season on Sunday, Feb. 18, at Daytona International Speedway. Track action begins that Wednesday night (Feb. 14) with qualifying set for 8 p.m. ET, with the duels set for Thursday, and a pair of practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.