It’s official, NASCAR fans: The Clash is moving from Daytona International Speedway to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 2022. And that’s an awesome idea.
NASCAR announced Tuesday that the preseason exhibition race next year will be on February 6 — two weeks out from the season-opening Daytona 500 — at the stadium famous for hosting USC Trojans football, Super Bowls, Olympics and so much more.
A temporary racing venue, the Coliseum’s field “will be converted into a quarter-mile, asphalt short track creating a brand-new action-packed event”. And, as NASCAR noted, drivers will race in the new Next Gen cars for the first time before they officially debut in the first race of the season.
History meets possibility.
See you in 2022, Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/SAKJ5kiMqM
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 14, 2021
Related: 6 takeaways from NASCAR’s reported 2022 schedule with big changes and new tracks
Of course, construction on the temporary race track won’t be able to begin for a while, and the images of racing in the Coliseum in NASCAR’s hype video above are simulated. Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of strategy and innovation, told FOX Sports that construction will begin around New Year’s, giving NASCAR about a four-week window before The Clash.
But thanks to iRacing, some NASCAR drivers got a chance to race around the simulated version of the quarter-miler at the LA Coliseum. And Clint Bowyer — who recently retired from racing and joined FOX Sports’ broadcast team — seemed to be having a blast.
“This is gonna be somethin’ you DO NOT wanna miss.”@ClintBowyer, @TylerReddick and @jamiemcmurray take a few @iRacing laps around the LA Coliseum during NASCAR Race Hub. pic.twitter.com/4vzzcRgrEu
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) September 14, 2021
“Don’t change a thing, baby,” Bowyer said while racing against Jamie McMurray and Tyler Reddick. “The action track is here! This place is awesome already!”
It’s unlikely that Bowyer would have too many negative things to say about this simulated race track, given that his employer is broadcasting the race. But his reactions, along with McMurray’s and Reddick’s, appear to be authentic with genuine excitement.
And as Bowyer noted, on a short track like this, The Clash could become more of a demolition derby, and he joked that teams could need five cars to make it through the race.
“You know who’s going to win this race?” Bowyer asked. “Those people in the grandstands.”