The NASCAR Next Gen stock cars will debut on February 5-6 at the LA Memorial Coliseum, and FOX Sports is going all-in with a massive broadcast. There will be a six-hour block on FOX dedicated to the historic exhibition event.
FOX Sports PR revealed the news on November 30 and confirmed that the broadcaster will provide extensive coverage on February 6. The block will begin with “NASCAR RaceDay” at 2 p.m. ET, which will air on FOX. The coverage will continue at 3 p.m. ET with the Heat Races and Las Chance Qualifiers before some more “NASCAR RaceDay.”
The first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race inside of the historic football stadium will cap off the weekend. The Busch Light Clash will air on FOX at 6 p.m. ET as 23 drivers battle on the custom-built quarter-mile track inside of the football stadium and set the stage for the 2022 season that will feature numerous changes.
NASCAR Previously Released the Format for the Busch Light Clash
According to information provided by NASCAR on November 9, there will be two days worth of action at the LA Memorial Coliseum. February 5 will feature practice sessions at the track, as well as single-car qualifying sessions for up to 40 entrants.
February 6 will be the busiest day of the schedule. The 40 drivers will split up and take part in four heat races. The top four drivers from each heat race will move to the main event while the remaining 24 will take part in two Last Chance Qualifiers, which will send another six drivers to the main event. NASCAR will fill out the 23-car field with the driver who finished the highest in the 2021 points standings who does not transfer through one of the previous races.
Once the 23-car field is set, the drivers will take part in the Busch Light Clash. They will complete 150 laps around the quarter-mile track while making NASCAR history in front of a packed stadium. Fans unable to make the trip will watch from their homes as FOX provides coverage.
Active Drivers Have No Experience With Next Gen Cars at Football Stadiums
When the Cup Series drivers head to the LA Memorial Coliseum for the Busch Light Clash, they will get their first seat time inside of a football stadium. NASCAR has held a Next Gen test at a similar track, but none of the active drivers took part.
Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all headed to Bowman Gray Stadium on October 26 for some sessions at the quarter-mile track. Stewart worked with Goodyear during a tire test closed to media members and provided feedback about his experience. Earnhardt and Bowyer then completed 50 laps each to gain information that will benefit them as they cover races in 2022.
“It does everything better,” Earnhardt told NASCAR’s Alex Weaver on October 26. “I drove the car around the track, and it brakes… the brake performance is going to take me a while to get used to or any of these guys to get used to. That was probably the thing that I found myself improving the most as I ran.”