NASCAR Officially Announces Race at Historic Los Angeles Coliseum

by Matthew Memrick
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Next season, NASCAR will officially have racing at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum on Feb. 6.

In a one-minute Twitter video, the racing league made its announcement. The clip opened with a graphically produced look inside the stadium. Then, past pro and college football moments laced into video moved to NASCAR’s top driver names and cars racing around the track.

Last week, rampant reports talked about the possibility of the Busch Clash coming to the football venue. And after a good show with Bristol Motor Speedway with the 2016 football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech, NASCAR knew all things were possible.

Now, it’s official. 

Busch Clash Coming to Lalaland

A quarter-mile asphalt oval will go up around the arena’s football field. The Feb. 6 event will be the first time the preseason Clash will be held outside Daytona since 1979. In addition to the event, NASCAR will show off its Next-Gen car for the non-points event.

The 77,500-seat venue has hosted motorsports events in the past, but now there will be a track for big-league stock-car racing. Track work will start on New Year’s Day in 2022.

“We’ve had these discussions for a while, and they actually came about by us going to their website, finding their contact page and reaching out to them,” NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation Ben Kennedy told NASCAR.com

Kennedy said track talks started in 2019, but the pandemic slowed things down. He said talks restarted earlier this year and over the summer they, “put a team together a couple of months ago.”

Now, Kennedy says NASCAR is “off to the races and running now” with the L.A. plan.

Also, according to CBS Sports, the race would be held a week before Super Bowl LVI. That event will be at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. 

Talk about a good time to make a winter vacation.

Past NASCAR attempts

For years, NASCAR ran at Ontario Speedway from 1970 to 1980 and featured the Los Angeles Times 500. Benny Parsons, A.J. Foyt and Bobby Allison won the event twice during its nine-year run.

In fact, the league served as the backdrop for “Evel Knievel” film scenes during the Miller High Life 500 mile stock car race in 1971. In 1980, track owners sold the track to Chevron, who developed the land. 

Nearby Riverside International Raceway also had NASCAR races in the late 1980s, including the Winston Western 500 and Budweiser 500. Richard Petty, Allison, Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace were among some of the big names to win at that track.

But NASCAR racing didn’t stick in that part of California. Ever since, NASCAR has been looking for a way to get back into the major market. 

The sport has made attempts at getting into the urban New York City area but with not much luck. Former NASCAR founder Bill France Jr. had tried to bring a track to Staten Island in 2010 with an 80,000-seat track similar to Richmond, but NASCAR abandoned the project.

With NASCAR coming to Los Angeles, the event should be another great step in growing the sport.

Outsider.com