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Is NASCAR Serious About Racing at Dodger Stadium?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR is considering all options to race in Southern California in 2025. One of these options is to stage the Clash at the historic Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles according to Adam Stern, which, would be a tight fit for a race track, to say the least. Is it even possible to stage a race in Dodger Stadium?

  • NASCAR has held the season-opening Clash in Los Angeles since 2022, and at least one regular season race per year was held at nearby Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California between 1997 and 2023. Now that Auto Club Speedway has been demolished, plans to build a short track on site are still uncertain. this means NASCAR is looking everywhere they can to keep a race in Southern California.
  • Dodger Stadium is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. The stadium was constructed in 1962, and it is the 3rd oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues. Other events hosted include the 2014 NHL Stadium Series, baseball at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and numerous concerts.
  • Fans are very intrigued by this, but, many do not believe this could happen. Some have looked back through NASCAR history to see if NASCAR has ever raced in a baseball stadium like this.

How Would This Work?

Fitting a NASCAR track onto a football field like the LA Coliseum makes sense. With the oblong shape of a football field, a NASCAR track fits perfectly. A baseball field, on the other hand, is…well…not shaped like a race track.

The track at the LA Coliseum was a 0.25-mile race track, which seems about as small as a race track can get. Does Dodger Stadium have the dimensions to fit that size race track in there? Here is how the dimensions of both fields break down according to Google Maps.

LA Coliseum

  • Turns 1&2 to Turns 3&4: 594.70 ft
  • Frontstretch Wall to Backstretch Wall: 253.55 ft

Dodger Stadium

  • Wall Behind home plate to Center Field Fence: 448.93 ft
  • 3rd baseline wall to 1st baseline wall: 444.53 ft

If they were to build a race track at Dodger Stadium, It could not be the shape of the LA Coliseum. The straightaways would have to be much shorter with significantly wider turns. The track would have to be more of a Bristol-type shape than a Martinsville-type shape. Perhaps the closest example to the track shape needed would be Berlin Raceway in Michigan, which is more of a circle than anything else.

Could this work? Berlin Raceway is a 7/16 mile track, and these are the dimensions of that race track.

  • Frontstretch Wall to Backstretch wall: 636.56 ft
  • Turns 1&2 to Turns 3&4: 836.79 ft

If NASCAR wants to use that shape of a race track, but make it a 0.25-mile track instead, this is what the dimensions would roughly have to be. Could they squeeze this into Dodger Stadium?

  • Frontstretch Wall to Backstretch wall: 363.75 ft
  • Turns 1&2 to Turns 3&4: 478.17 ft

That’s still a bit too big. NASCAR could choose to make the track truly circular, but, the baseball field is far from a perfect circle.

NASCAR could also choose to shorten the track a little bit. However, NASCAR tried that before at the 0.2-mile Islip Speedway on Long Island, New York. S1apSh0es dug into that track’s history, and how impractical it was for NASCAR to race there.

No matter how you slice it up, it seems impractical to impossible to stage a race at Dodger Stadium….or is it?

Has It Been Done Before?

NASCAR has staged races at baseball stadiums before. One example that toomuchcountry looked at was Sulphur Dell Speedway in Nashville, where there was a triangle-shaped race track placed over a minor league baseball field.

Another example was McCormik Speedway in Asheville, North Carolina that S1apSh0es points out. However, this track was raced back in the 1950s.

The difference with these tracks, however, is that those were in minor league ballparks with less seating. This meant that NASCAR had more real estate around the playing field to work with than at a major league ballpark with seats all the way around. Long story short, this is not a direct comparison.

While racing at Dodger Stadium would be interesting, it’s hard to envision it actually happening. Would NASCAR actually go for it?

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Joshua Lipowski

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