NASCAR to run 2022 pre-season Clash at the LA Coliseum

NASCAR has confirmed it will hold its annual pre-season exhibition Clash at the iconic Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Clash at the Coliseum on 6 February will be a signature event as a part of the venue’s centennial celebration and marks the first time NASCAR’s prelude to the annual Daytona 500 will take place somewhere other than the Daytona International Speedway.

The Coliseum’s traditional surface will be converted into a quarter-mile, asphalt short track. The exact configuration of the track is still being determined with various iterations of the surface being tested on iRacing.

“Los Angeles is synonymous with major sports and entertainment events, so we seized an innovative opportunity to showcase NASCAR at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of strategy and innovation.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to take centre stage in this market as we get our 2022 season underway.”

This season was the first time the Clash had not been run on the Daytona oval track and instead was held on the speedway’s road course configuration.

The Cup Series teams that participate in the 2022 Clash – which likely will be upwards of 25 entries – will utilise the Next Gen car, which is still undergoing its final on track testing.

The styling and composition of the new common Dallara-made chassis has allowed the Next Gen cars to better replicate the identities of their showroom counterparts.

The bodies of all three cars are symmetrical with lower greenhouses, shortened deck lids, and the car’s width has been widened.

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“From what I’ve heard, it will be like the layout of Bowman Gray Stadium, which has been incredibly popular," said former Cup driver and current Fox Sports analyst Jamie McMurray.

"I think the one thing that is important to remember about Bowman Gray is that it’s not typically the best racing, but it’s the best entertainment in racing because of everything that happens on such a small track. 

“I think anytime you can bring something new in and make it fresh – it’s a huge market for NASCAR and for partners and sponsors of the sport. So, I think this is a home run.”

The Clash at the Coliseum will be the first of two visits to Southern California, as NASCAR’s Cup will hold a points race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on 27 February.

The remainder of the 2022 Cup Series schedule is expected to be released on Wednesday morning.

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