NASCAR Moving Busch Clash to Los Angeles Coliseumby Jack Gaffney September 15, 2021 0 comments
For better or worse, NASCAR has not been shy about trying new things since the turn of the millennium. With next year’s schedule set to drop today, the sanctioning body last night announced a new location for the annual preseason race, the Busch Clash. A race that has exclusively been run at Daytona dating back to 1979 is moving to a highly unorthodox location. Los Angeles Memorial Collesiuem. Yes, the stadium that has hosted the Olympics, multiple Super Bowls, and USC Football will now hold a NASCAR race. How did this bold venture come to be? Stick around to find out.
Long Time Coming?
Rumors of an LA Collesiuem race had been floating around recently. Dating back to when Adam Stern floated on Twitter, that a race at the historic stadium was a possibility. In addition to Gateway gaining a Cup Series date which is now official. Low and behold on Tuesday evening, NASCAR tweeted out the following with the voice of the iconic Gus Johnson in the background.
History meets possibility.
See you in 2022, Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/SAKJ5kiMqM
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 14, 2021
Yes this is Actually Happening
You may have noticed some iRacing shots in that video. That is due to the Chelmsford, MA company being heavily involved with the design process. Not the first time this has happened either, as they played a role in the reconfigurations of Atlanta and Fontana. According to NASCAR executive and former driver Ben Kennedy, there are three configurations in consideration for the track. Options being with five-degree banked turns, two and a half degree banked turns, and a flat track the entire way around. In any case, it will be a quarter-mile in length, making it the shortest track that NASCAR will run next year.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) September 14, 2021
An easy comparison to make for some racing fans is Bowman Gray Stadium. The North Carolina short track, which doubles as the home of Winston-Salem State Football, is infamous in southern racing lore. It is NASCAR’s longest-standing “home track” venue that hosted Cup races in the 1960s. While more demo derby than racing, they have run over 1000 NASCAR sanctioned races. In simple terms, think of this Collesium race as Bowman Gray without the alarming lack of professionalism. Here are just a couple of examples.
Things are getting spicy at Bowman Gray. pic.twitter.com/nJ1Q4cRJFV
— Bozi Tatarevic (@BoziTatarevic) August 22, 2021
Not the First Rodeo
While this is the first time LA Coliseum will host NASCAR, this is far from their first motorsports event. The venue hosted “The Super Bowl of Motocross” in 1972. An event that was ended up being the precursor to what is now Monster Energy Supercross, which they hosted rounds of from 1974 to 1998. Later on, the Coliseum hosted a number of flat track Motorcycle races, akin to what NASCAR is now doing, in the 1980s. Additionally, the stadium played host to select X-Games competitions throughout the 2000s. As well as a Stadium Super Trucks in 2013.
NASCAR by default is the biggest motorsports event to happen at the venue since some of those late 2000/early 2010s X-Games. While not an official race, this has the potential to be gigantic. A venue that can sit north of 75000 people in one of the nation’s biggest media markets, that surprisingly enough shows up for NASCAR. The Auto Club race, located just minutes outside of Los Angeles, has consistently had good crowds for Cup Series races for years now. With the added prestige of the Coliseum, this race should be a hot ticket.
Not even mentioning the fact that this is an All-Star race in all but name. Race winners, stage winners, fastest qualifiers from 2021 are all in. As are former Cup champions and former Clash winners. The best of the best in the entertainment capital of the world when it’s simply for bragging rights? Sign me up, please.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images