NASCAR’s trip to the 1/4-mile Los Angeles Coliseum could have been very different
To start the 2022 season, NASCAR opened with a bold new idea. They put a 1/4-mile temporary race track over the football field inside the LA Coliseum and dropped the green flag.
The race was a sellout. And it was a smash in the tv ratings at the same time.
However, that race could have been very different if some NASCAR drivers had their way. Some wanted the race to be a dirt track.
Bristol Dirt and a Coliseum Dirt race?
This year, the NASCAR dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been pushed to Easter weekend, a week that the series traditionally excludes from the schedule. However, this time, it will be run under the lights. The night race is expected to keep the track from drying out too fast due to the exclusion of the sun.
This year, there’s even more unknowns as the series is set to return to the dirt. The Next Gen car has yet to race on the dirt.
“The reality is we’ve got to set aside what happened last year with Bristol dirt because this year we’re taking a completely different car,” Toyota Racing Development’s David Wilson told NBC Sports.
“I’m not saying it’s definitely going to be better. We don’t know. There is some angst with the new car on dirt, but I do think the experiment is worth revisiting because it’s a different experiment.”
“I do think there is some attraction to dirt and how we can race on it and what tracks might lend themselves to dirt vs. other tracks. I was talking to a couple of drivers, just shooting the breeze and they would have loved to have seen, instead of asphalt at the Coliseum, dirt. If you think asphalt was good, let’s really bring traction into it.”
“Maybe we go back next year and it’s dirt instead of asphalt. Why not give it a try?”
“The beauty about the Clash and All-Star Race is if we’re not getting out there and taking experiments, we’re just wasting opportunities – because there’s virtually nothing to lose. I do think we need to give Bristol dirt another chance.”
Wilson added, “There’s no question in my mind that dirt has a place in our sport.”