The purpose-built track inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum joined an exclusive NASCAR club that previously had only two tracks.
With Sunday night’s Busch Light Clash exhibition race, which unofficially kicked off the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum joined an exclusive club in NASCAR history.
This exhibition race was introduced in 1979, and since the Daytona 500 is the official opener of the annual Cup Series season, the Clash was contested at Daytona International Speedway.
Prior to Sunday’s Busch Light Clash at the purpose-built quarter-mile track inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Daytona International Speedway was the only venue to host a Clash.
For the first 42 years of the exhibition race’s existence (1979 to 2020), it was raced on the 2.5-mile (4.023 kilometer) four-corner, four-corner oval at the Daytona Beach venue , in Florida.
But that changed in 2021. After making its Cup Series debut as a COVID-19-related replacement race in August 2020, the 14-turn, 3.61-mile (5.810-kilometre) road course at Daytona International Speedway has hosted the Clash last February.
This new “tradition” only lasted a year.
While the narrow, low-inclined course inside the home of the USC Trojans football team is the third different track to host a Clash in the past three seasons, it is only the third different track to host a Clash in the event’s 44-year history too.
And after 43 years of running the Clash at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR has made the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum the second venue to host one.
As for the future, it is difficult to find an option that is not on the table. A return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is certainly not out of the question, and the idea of moving the race outside the United States has also been floated for something completely different.
Interestingly, this is the first time this Clash has been played at a track that does not have a regular season date. Although the Daytona International Speedway road course was only on the schedule for two seasons, it also had a regular race date in 2021.
Naturally, the oval has always had two regular season race dates, including one for the Daytona 500 season opener and another for the annual summer race.
Regardless of what happens with this exhibition event in the future, don’t expect to see the same track hosting it for 42 straight years, or the same venue hosting it for 43 straight years, never again.
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is officially set to kick off with the 64th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20. This race is scheduled to air live from Daytona International Speedway on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.