How NASCAR Is Building Temporary Track for L.A. Coliseum’s Busch Light Clash

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Vic Stein/Getty Images)

Work on the L.A. Memorial Coliseum is well underway for NASCAR’s temporary Busch Light Clash for February, and it may seem like a lot for one race.

But one Arizona construction company is pulling out all the stops for the California venue. According to Fox News, New Valley Construction is paving over the entire field.

The quarter-mile track will get the sport’s season-opening race for one weekend, and then NASCAR will return the 77,500-seat facility to its original setup.

Currently, the venue hosts a Major League Rugby team.

Short-Term Solution For NASCAR Track Involves Plastic, Plywood

Ask New Valley Construction executive Steve Boscardin about the project, and he’ll tell you the group is doing the same work as if it was a long-term production.

But this time, the company is using protective layers of plastic and plywood over the field before adding a six-inch base of dirt. 

How much dirt? That’s about 500 truckloads with big ol’ trucks going through a narrow tunnel to drop the loads off. Take that and 70 semi-trucks who brought 1,560 tons of a special high-performance asphalt, and you’ve got almost an instant track. Well, the company needed special equipment to do the paving, but you get the idea.

Boscardin’s company previously made other NASCAR tracks, including Homestead-Miami and Phoenix Raceway. But the executive said this track would be four inches instead of the typical five inches they’d used for a permanent track. 

NASCAR Track Cutting It Close?

When all is said and done, the track will have just two weeks to set and cure before the Feb. 6 Busch Light Clash.

Boscardin said previous tracks got a month to settle, but he’s not worried.

Currently, Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway is NASCAR’s smallest track at .526 miles, so we’ll see how this exhibition track works out. Another track feature includes temporary barriers to define the oval and no pit lane. Why no pit lane? The Clash will be several short heat races and a non-stop main one.

When all is said and done, officials will have the trucks come back to take away the reusable pavement and dirt for other stuff.

NASCAR Spending All Sorts of Bank For One Race?

Interestingly enough, NASCAR hasn’t revealed too much about the exact price. A Sports Business Journal report got NASCAR’s Vice President of Marketing Services Patrick Rogers to say it was just north of a million dollars. That breaks down to roughly a mile of paved road, according to the website Roadbotics

NASCAR hasn’t committed to a track return the following year with all that effort, but Boscardin will be ready if it does. Maybe he’ll spring for that extra inch of pavement next time.

There’s not much need for the venue outside of rugby and movies with other more giant stadiums in the area. The Los Angeles Rams moved out of its temporary home in 2019.

 For you trivia buffs, the coliseum was home to the very first Super Bowl in 1967. But it was called the NFL-AFL Championship Game then.