NASCAR Cannot Afford to Leave Los Angeles Despite the End of Contract for the Clash

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Heading into the 2024 season, NASCAR has made all the necessary arrangements for the season to start with a bang. Fans will be treated to Pitbull’s performance at the Daytona 500 alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s appearance as Grand Marshal. From the debut of NASCAR’s EV to the star-studded pre-race ceremony with Olympic middle-distance runner Athing Mu lighting the torch atop the Coliseum peristyle, there’s a lot for fans visiting the iconic Coliseum to expect. Ever since the Busch Light Clash began to take shape at the L.A. Coliseum in 2022, the NASCAR community has been pleasantly surprised by the event each time around. But as we head into the third edition of the Clash at the Coliseum, this could be NASCAR’s last outing at the Coliseum.
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Will 2024 mark the end of the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum?
After the 2024 edition, NASCAR and the L.A. Coliseum’s three-year deal will be nearing its end, and the sport will need to do its best to keep the race in the Los Angeles market alive and bustling, perhaps with a contract extension. After all, with the Mexico Series making its inaugural appearance at the Coliseum this time around, NASCAR will also need to look for a worthy alternative, if at all, to replace the historic track after the deal gets over.
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And when the conversation made its way to veteran NASCAR insiders from motorsport.com and JAYSKI’s lap, the NASCAR community could paint an accurate picture of the sport’s LA predicament. Speaking on the GoPRNLive podcast, Dustin Albino from Jayski’s reflected on the Clash’s future, “It’s so tough to say right, like, it is the final year of the contract. And I think this will probably be the last one at the L.A. Coliseum, but it’s going to be tough because we know the LA market is valuable to NASCAR especially.”
The insider went on to express that while there were prior alternatives for NASCAR to approach in the LA area, there was potentially a short track being constructed on the circuit, so it could be a probable replacement in the future. He added, “We’ve gotta get back in that market somehow so I do tend to think that it’s probably going to move next year.”
And the Jayski’s insider wasn’t alone in his thinking. Jim Utter from motorsport.com also chimed in, “I sort of agree with Dustin. I think it would be good. I think at some point it’s going to be a good race to rotate to new and different venues. But my gut feeling is that it will stay at the LA Coliseum at least until NASCAR figures out what its option is going be to stay in the LA market. Because I don’t think they want to abandon the LA market specifically, in part, because of the inroads they have made lately.”
Utter alluded to the introduction of the Mexico Series and the non-points invitational race as a vital appeal to growing the sport’s audience in the United States. He concluded, “I think it’s the largest Hispanic population centre in the US outside of Mexico and I don’t think they just want to go away. So I think it stays at the LA Coliseum until whatever viable option presents itself in that area.”
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So even though NASCAR’s three-year deal to host the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum is coming to an end, the strong market in Los Angeles warrants the event to be held in the city shortly with other options. However, the sport may be forced to extend the contract with the Coliseum owing to a lack of a better alternative in Los Angeles. But if they decide to move the exhibition race out of LA, could Daytona be the perfect home?
Could the Daytona International Speedway be the perfect alternative to Los Angeles?
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With the Auto Club Speedway being deconstructed and months away from any reconstruction, the future of the Busch Light Clash may not take place in Los Angeles at all if the Coliseum deal is not renewed. In such a case, there are only a handful of arenas that would suit such an event considering the time frame and television traffic. This is why Dustin Albino from Jayski’s felt the Speedway home to Great American Race could also be a prime candidate as a replacement for the Clash at the Coliseum.
Albino shared, “We haven’t seen the next-gen car in Daytona for an exhibition race like this but I don’t know. It was at Daytona for so long it feels right at Daytona but I also like the idea of moving it around into a big market, rotating as Jim mentioned. But it’s also early February when it’s run, so markets are kind of limited on where you can run it in warm weather where the weather cooperates.”
The Clash being held at Daytona would be perfectly suitable for weather conditions. Furthermore, the media buzz around the circuit in February owing to the Daytona 500 could minimize any losses that NASCAR faces owing to a shift from the L.A. Coliseum.
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Being a central New Yorker himself, Albino felt it was key for the exhibition to be held in prime weather conditions, and most parts near New York and New Jersey were certainly not suitable in February. So with the Clash at the Coliseum likely on its last legs, will the Daytona International Speedway serve as the perfect home?

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