Kyle Petty Rivals Fans Sentiments as He Drops Polarizing Verdict on NASCAR’s LA Coliseum Outing

Published 02/07/2024, 4:38 AM EST

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The much anticipated 2024 NASCAR season is finally here. With the first and the exhibition race done and dusted, it is time to buckle up for ‘The Great American Race’ at Daytona. But before we start talking about the points races, let’s look back at the season-opener at Los Angeles Coliseum. The race, despite getting over three days ago, is still the talk of the town, considering how NASCAR switched up the whole schedule at the last moment because of the heavy downpour scar. 

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If we strictly speak of the race, it was a mixed bag of emotions. While drivers like Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch stood on firm ground after a podium finish, others faced a plethora of obstacles that led to a heartbreak. However, what seemed to be at the center of discussion among the NASCAR community remains whether the resolution of shifting the Clash race at the Coliseum was a prudent decision. While the majority of the fandom seemed to oppose the decision, Kyle Petty would beg to differ.

NASCAR veteran was left awestruck with the last Busch Light Clash at Coliseum

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The 2024 Cup Series season opener got off to a bumpy start. The authorities were forced to move up the race to Saturday. Moreover, the race, which featured 23 cars, witnessed numerous run-ins. However, that did not bar Denny Hamlin from smiling gleefully as he lifted the Clash trophy for the fourth time. While Hamlin winning was the major highlight, people also can’t stop talking about Ty Gibbs’s heated exchange with Joey Logano after the race. 

However, after three years of hosting the exhibition race in the iconic location of LA Coliseum, the question that still looms over is whether is it time for NASCAR to find a new venue for the race or perhaps return to its earlier home at Daytona. The initial decision to shift the race from Daytona to Coliseum was to tap into a newer fan base, but the ruling failed to excite fans as it disrupted the 10-day grand celebration of the Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. While fans seemed to be livid with the decision of NASCAR, Kyle Petty differed in his views of racing in LA Coliseum. He stated, “I love the Coliseum, I loved it when we went there because NASCAR was taking the sport to a new group of fans.”

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“They did it that first year and it was fantastic because the fans did not know what to expect, the fans did not know what to expect, no one knew what to expect. What we saw this year from a purist standpoint was a pretty solid race. These guys run 70 some laps without a caution. They have learned to race on this little Bull Ring. They have learned to work each other to get around each other and what we saw was a typical Saturday night racing or Friday night racing whatever you want to call it that we see all over the country. Guys rooting, guys gouging, guys into each other, moving each other on the way.”

Standing firm on his thoughts of racing at the historic venue, the veteran also shared his thoughts on the 2024 Clash race. Petty remained in awe of how Hamlin navigated his way on the track to win his fourth Clash title. However, he did have some important advice for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

Watch this Story: Denny Hamlin triumphs in first Clash at the Coliseum, eliciting cheers from fans 

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Kyle Petty warns Denny Hamlin of overusing his new tagline

While Petty’s comments on the Busch Clash might come have come across as polarizing, there is no denying that the veteran’s commentary on the race encapsulated the whole essence of the Clash. And for this race, he did say something that may not be as difficult for the fans to understand.

After winning the Clash race, the #11 Toyota driver, talking to the spectators, said, “I beat your favorite driver,” a phrase that he first used last season. However, Petty was not amused by the overuse of the phrase. Petty was in disapproval of the use of this. He believes that the smug comment might lose its charm and its effectiveness if overused. As a result, he advised the driver to come up with a new tagline.

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With everything that we saw unfold this past weekend, do you think we’ll see the Busch Clash return to LA?

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Using her affinity for research and storytelling, this English major has also woven some attention-grabbing pieces that have brought the women in NASCAR into the limelight. An expert in identifying trends and understanding audience behavior, she loves taking part in core sport reporting.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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