NASCAR will make history on Feb. 6, 2022 when it moves its non-points exhibition, the Clash, to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The race — which has been held at the Daytona International Speedway since its inception in 1979 — will also mark the first stock-car race at the venue, which has previously hosted supercross and speedway motorcycle races.
NASCAR announced the move in a tweet calling the LA Coliseum “America’s greatest stadium.” It is the current home of college football’s USC Trojans and has also hosted the 1959 World Series, Super Bowls 1 and 7 and the 1932 and ’84 Summer Olympics.
The exhibition will run in 2022 around a quarter-mile oval, a year after the Clash at Daytona featured a road course. It will be the shortest track in the Cup Series’ modern era, beating Martinsville Speedway (0.526 miles) and Bristol Motor Speedway (0.533 miles), the shortest tracks currently on the schedule. The format and eligibility for the exhibition has yet to be announced.
Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of strategy and innovation, said the event will have a “new-look structure” from previous races.
“We’ve been discussing the Clash for a while, and we’ve had it at the (Daytona) oval for a number of years,” Kennedy said in a news release. “We moved it to the road course this year, but really wanted to think outside the box as we thought about the Clash in the future — and seeing that it’s an exhibition event, we looked at a number of different places and locations that we could host it at, and ultimately narrowed it down to the L.A. Coliseum.
“The format will be a little bit different from what we’ve traditionally seen at the Clash at Daytona,” Kennedy said. “So, looking at a few different options. The group has really, really been challenged to think kind of differently about how we have all the different events leading into the main event, and I think a lot of good thoughts and input that we’ve got on it so far, so more to come on all that.”
Though NASCAR has never run races in the Coliseum, it still has history in Southern California, with events returning to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in 2022. The Cup Series has also competed at Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside International Raceway.
Kyle Busch is the reigning champion of the 2021 Clash at Daytona.
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