They might finally add a real short track to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule
Update: LA Coliseum race confirmed!
By short track, I mean a track under a half-mile. A real temper-flaring short track.
The Busch Clash is an exhibition race held at Daytona International Speedway, one week before the official opening of a new season via the Daytona 500. The race features a limited field of NASCAR drivers.
Clash Criteria: Playoff drivers (from previous season), Daytona Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners.
Traditionally, the race was held on the 2.5-mile oval in Daytona Beach, Florida. For 2021, the race was moved to the Daytona Road Course for the first time.
NASCAR race in LA Coliseum?
But, much bigger changes may be pending for the opening race of the season. Rumors are circulating that the Busch Clash could move to the LA Coliseum.
Rumors are circulating that this is the plan for the 2022 season. It would debut NASCAR’s Next Gen car in spectacular fashion. However, it remains unclear if the Next Gen machine will be used.
The stadium traditionally hosts football games. If a race track was installed on the field, it would be similar to that of Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina.
Typically, NASCAR races with 40 car fields. It makes going to tracks under a half-mile a bit of a challenge. With the shortened field of the Busch Clash it opens the door for NASCAR to visit much smaller tracks.
This would be a bullring short track in the middle in a major US city.
The 2022 NASCAR schedule has yet to be released. Typically, schedules are released in the Summer. This year, there’s been a delay in it’s release.
Reportedly, NASCAR is in ‘serious’ talks to make the event a reality per The Athletic on Monday.
NASCAR returning to roots
It’s looking like it’s become a great time to be a NASCAR fan again.
Years ago, NASCAR was at the highest level they’ve ever been. They replaced the bullring short tracks with limited seating capacity for a pack of cookie-cutter 1.5-mile tracks.
Most of these tracks were built in or near major cities: Chicagoland Speedway; Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Now, NASCAR has admittedly made a mistake. As president Steve Phelps took over, he noted these prior mistakes. And since then, changes have been happening, rapidly.
A emphasis on short tracks have been placed in the schedule. The championship finale was moved from Homestead-Miami Speedway to the short track of Phoenix Raceway.
Many of these track previously had two races, some of those have been cut. Kentucky Speedway was abandoned completely for the schedule this year.
It’s more than short tracks, road courses have also become a new focus. There’s rumors that NASCAR could run a street race in Chicago, Illinois. The series scanned the streets of Chicago and setup a digital track via iRacing for an online exhibition event just a few months ago. That race could turn into reality.
Auto Club Speedway is set to be completely reconstructed. The track will be trimmed to just a half-mile.
The LA Coliseum is known as ‘The Greatest Stadium in the World’. It’s located in the Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
It first opened back in May 1, 1923. It’s seen many uses since it’s opening, including the L.A. Rams NFL team.
The stadium is currently home to the USC Trojans. It’s the only venue to host two Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984. It’s soon to add a third in 2028.
In 2008, the LA Dodgers and Boston Red Sox played inside the stadium. It became the largest crowd attendance for a baseball game at 115,300.
In 2018, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum underwent a $315 million renovation, the first major upgrade in 20 years. It allowed for a new seating capacity of 77,500.
This would be NASCAR’s shortest track, in all three of the national series.