NASCAR is going to kick off 2022 in a big way. This week, NASCAR announced the season-opening Clash exhibition race will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The stadium has been home to the Los Angeles Rams and is the current home of the USC Trojans football team. The Coliseum has also been home to two Olympic Games and will host it again when the Olympics return to Los Angeles in 2028.
NASCAR will build a track around the football field. The Clash is normally held in Daytona ahead of the Daytona 500. This will be the first time since its inception in 1979 Daytona International Speedway will host the event. The Clash is set to take place on Feb. 6.
History meets possibility.— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 14, 2021
See you in 2022, Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/SAKJ5kiMqM
"We've been discussing the Clash for a while, and we've had it at the (Daytona) oval for a number of years," Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation, said in a press release. "We moved it to the road course this year, but really wanted to think outside the box as we thought about the Clash in the future — and seeing that it's an exhibition event, we looked at a number of different places and locations that we could host it at, and ultimately narrowed it down to the L.A. Coliseum. I think the large fan base that we have here in Los Angeles, the largest that we actually have in the nation, paired with exciting racing and being here in the downtown Los Angeles market, I think will be really special."
Over the years, the L.A. Coliseum has hosted various motorsports events, including supercross, speedway motorcycle races and rallycross events. Construction for the NASCAR event will start on New Year's Day. Some of the NASCAR drivers are familiar with the stadium as they have driven on it via the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
"I think a lot of good feedback and intel that we've gotten from some of those test events, and I think that will ultimately help us kind of refine exactly what that model is going to look like," Kennedy says. "So other than that, it'll be asphalt, quarter-mile. We'll have a few pit stalls, maybe eight to 10, inside but for non-competitive stuff. If someone has a loose wheel or needs to repair their car, they'll be able to come in and do that." The track will be the shortest of the NASCAR modern era (0.25 miles). Additional details of the race will be announced at a later date.