Stock car racing’s sanctioning body has officially revealed that the NASCAR Cup Series will head to Los Angeles in early February. The top drivers will compete in a special exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Clash at the Coliseum will take place on Feb. 6, 2022.
Rumors have persisted about the change for weeks, but the hosts of “NASCAR Race Hub” provided the official announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 14. They showed a clip narrated by Gus Johnson, the most recognizable voice in college football. The broadcaster spoke about the history of the stadium and the wide array of events that have taken place inside its walls. He mentioned Super Bowls I and VII, countless USC football games, and the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.
“Man, how crazy is it to have NASCAR driving in the middle of South Central in our stadium?” Reggie Bush said during an appearance on “NASCAR Race Hub.” He and former USC quarterback Matt Leinart discussed their history at the stadium, as well as the large number of wins that they achieved in the USC Cardinal and USC Gold.
Construction of the Special Track Will Take 3–4 Weeks
Following the announcement, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Ben Kennedy met with Fox Sports broadcaster Chris Myers to discuss the major change in the stock car racing landscape. He explained that the crew will begin construction on the specially-built track in January 2022 and that the process will take roughly three or four weeks.
“We are actually going to build a quarter-mile, temporary, asphalt track inside of [the Coliseum]” Kennedy explained. He went on and explained that Southern California is the “No. 1 market for NASCAR fans” in the United States and that it’s the “No. 2 market for viewership.”
Kennedy explained that several drivers have hopped onto iRacing to test out the new asphalt short track and provide crucial feedback during the planning process. He said that the drivers have been positive overall with their responses.
NASCAR Drivers Are Ready for the Trip to Sunny California
Discussions about a potential race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum have taken place ever since “The Athletic” first reported the news. Some people expressed the opinion that the race was “a gimmick” while others said that it would be a fantastic idea.
The drivers, retired and active alike, made some bold statements about the idea. Clint Bowyer said that he loves the idea and that he wants to suit up for the Clash at the Coliseum in order to add a trophy to his collection. Tyler Reddick, who jumped onto the iRacing rig to test out the short track, said that some drivers will no longer be friends after bumping at the Coliseum.
“This is a great move for our sport,” Brad Keselowski tweeted after the announcement. “I’m excited to try out a new venue and also think racing in LA right before the Superbowl will create an incredible sports atmosphere.”
Not all of the drivers will head to Southern California for the special exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. According to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, the current estimate is that only 25 cars will test out the track on Feb. 6. They will take their Next Gen cars to Los Angeles and fight for position on the asphalt.