The Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was a massive risk that the NASCAR Cup Series was willing to take in 2022, and it ultimately proved to be a hit. In fact, the exhibition went so well for NASCAR that the sanctioning body announced Sunday plans to return for 2023.
“Our entire industry made a bold move by bringing the Busch Light Clash to the L.A. Coliseum this past February and it paid off by becoming an instant classic with both new and existing fans,” commented NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy Ben Kennedy, who masterminded the event. “We are intent on showcasing our sport and drivers on the biggest stage and there is none bigger than the L.A. Coliseum. We’re thrilled to return to the heart of Los Angeles to officially start the season and set the stage for the Daytona 500.”
Despite long taking place at Daytona International Speedway as a way to kick off the new Cup season, the Clash was moved to Los Angeles in 2022 to revitalise a race that had grown stale and uninteresting in recent years. While many questioned the viability of having stock cars race in a West Coast football stadium, it proved popular as approximately 60,000 attendees watched Joey Logano win.
The success of the event also sparked discussion about NASCAR potentially racing in other similar venues or even overseas, though neither are planned for the immediate future.
“With more than four million viewers, and really breaking through in a pop culture mecca like Los Angeles, the inaugural Clash at the Coliseum did everything it was intended to do and then some,” commented FOX Sports executive Bill Wanger. “It energised the sport, delivered new eyeballs and kicked off the season in grand fashion. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2023.”