Work is officially underway as NASCAR prepares for the first-ever Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum. Construction crews have ripped up the playing field and have begun prepping for the upcoming paving.
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip provided the reveal on Tuesday, December 21. He tweeted out a photo that showed heavy equipment smoothing out dirt in the shape of the quarter-mile oval track that will soon feature Next Gen stock cars.
NASCAR’s photographers also provided some more looks at the construction work taking place in Southern California. The images featured the groundbreaking ceremony, hard hats with Busch Light Clash logos, a pile of dirt and gravel, and the massive video boards with the exhibition race’s logo.
Waltrip Provided Further Comments Ahead of Tuesday Night Football
The tweeted photo was not the only information that Waltrip provided during his trip to Southern California. He also spent time chatting with Chris Myers before the Los Angeles Rams hosted the Seattle Seahawks in a game postponed due to COVID-19.
Waltrip showed up to the “NFL on FOX” broadcast wearing a No. 15 Vince Ferragamo Rams jersey. He explained that he was a fan of the quarterback in 1982 and that the Rams gave him the jersey. He then explained that he got “chills” as he walked into the Coliseum and took in the sights.
“NASCAR is so fortunate to be able to come to LA and race in the Coliseum,” Waltrip told Myers. “So much history. 100 years ago today, they broke ground for the Coliseum. And this day, 100 years later, we broke ground for the racetrack.”
Waltrip continued and said that he stood on the start-finish line and wanted to become a driver once again. He joked that he asked 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin if he could borrow a car, but the veteran driver turned him down.
The Busch Light Clash Will Feature More Horsepower
The trip to Southern California for the groundbreaking ceremony coincided with a significant update from the sanctioning body. NASCAR revealed the base horsepower and downforce package for the 2022 Cup Series season.
NASCAR issued a press release on December 21 and confirmed that the majority of tracks will feature 670-horsepower engines and four-inch spoilers. The only exceptions will be Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR will make a decision about the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway after a tire test in January.
As a short track, the quarter-mile oval at the LA Memorial Coliseum will feature this high-horsepower, low-downforce package as the drivers complete 150 laps for a total of 37.5 miles. This exhibition race will also provide a glimpse of the action at other short tracks in Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, and Richmond Raceway.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, explained in a statement and during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the change puts the racing back in the hands of the drivers as they adjust to the new era of stock car racing. He added that the new tire from Goodyear has a lot of wear, which will force drivers to make some strategic decisions throughout the year.