Prime Racing, NASCAR Primed for New Season

 

 

There’s a lot to be said for timing. NASCAR has it.

Just when we’ve had all we can take of the cold and dark, the best stock car drivers in the world take their machines to California for a peek at their rides and then to sunny Daytona Beach for the green flag to another season of hot laps, photo finishes and wars of words.

At the same time, Panini America has Prime Racing ready to roll. Collectors can get their hands on the lineup of racers and cars with three autographs and three memorabilia cards in every box, on average.

The Clash at the Coliseum starts the schedule on Feb. 4 at Los Angeles’ famed venue, where a quarter-mile track is set up inside the stadium that hosts college football games and has featured at two Summer Games.

The exhibition event, in its third year at the legendary facility, will put 23 cars on the track for an elbow-to-elbow, 150-lap run. Twenty drivers will qualify out of four heat races the day before, then a Last Chance Qualifier run will put two more in. The final racer in the show will be the highest remaining points finisher from 2023.

So it’s a chance to see Ryan Blaney fire the engine of his No. 12 Ford Mustang as the reigning Cup Series champion. The first Ohio-born NASCAR champion, he made that history by winning at Talladega and Martinsville in the playoffs and outracing fellow Championship 4 contenders William Byron, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell in the finale at Phoenix.

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