The Clash at the LA Coliseum is now history, and the conversation has shifted towards the future of the event. 2024 was the last year of a 3-year contract between NASCAR and the LA Coliseum to stage the event, so, the possibilities are endless for 2024. The question is, what are some of the ideas that fans and those involved in the industry have to say about the future of the event?
- While we have already looked at potential venues for where the race could be held, today we will focus more on the reaction to this weekend. We break down some of the ideas that multiple individuals have had regarding the future of the event.
- These ideas have ranged from local short tracks to returning to Daytona to going international. Each idea has its own merits and detractors.
- Fans have a myriad of opinions about where the Clash can be held. Some want to see it go one way and others want to see it go another way.
Local Short Tracks
One idea that was floated out there by Justin Marks in particular was running the race at a local short track. He also took it a step further by looking to potentially renovate parts of the track to allow NASCAR to happen there.
Mike Curry was a fan who loved this idea, and he believes that NASCAR should “Leave it better than we found it” in terms of the race tracks.
Matt Weaver pushed back against this idea in a recent Sportsnaut article. He says that the idea of heading to a local short track should be reserved for the All-Star Race, and the Clash should focus on reaching new fans in unique ways.
While Marks’ idea is definitely interesting, some factors need to be considered when making this work. First is the weather. Not every local short track can host a NASCAR race in the first week of February, and that lends credence to Weaver’s idea of keeping the local short rack idea to the All-Star Race.
Secondly, the idea of investing money into short tracks is cool, but, it’s also expensive. It is a great charity idea to invest in these local short tracks, but, NASCAR has other bills to pay that must also be considered alongside this. Yes, NASCAR should look at investing in the roots of the sport, but, they need to be smart with their finances as well.
Either way, whether it’s a part of the Clash or a part of the All-Star Race, investing in the roots of the sports is an absolute must. The All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro is a great start.
Return to Daytona
Another idea that some fans had was returning to Daytona International Speedway. Son of a son of a Jeff, for example, says that the Clash should never have left Daytona.
SirBoywonder513 got a bit more creative and suggested that NASCAR run the Clash at Daytona, but at the road course instead of the oval. NASCAR tried this in 2021.
Others, such as ElitePrecision29, got even more creative and suggested that the Daytona backstretch could host the race. NASCAR hosted preseason exhibition races for the K&N Pro Series (Now ARCA Menards Series East/West) and the Whelen Modified Tour on the backstretch at Daytona in 2012 and 2013. It was called the UNOH Battle at the Beach.
Returning to Daytona would certainly be an interesting choice. It would add some flavor back into Speedweeks, which fans have complained about being stale in recent years. Speedweeks has gone from a full week of racing to basically an extended weekend, so, an extra race could help.
However, the last few Clashes at Daytona were not well received by fans. Particularly the one in 2020, which turned into a wreck fest where Erik Jones won with a car that should have been on a flatbed. NASCAR tried to move the race to the road course, but, fan turnout and TV ratings were both atrocious.
The Daytona backstretch? That’s a cool idea, but, the backstretch stands at Daytona are no longer there. It’s not impossible to bring in extra temporary bleachers for a race, but, would NASCAR want to go through that hassle? On top of that, the weekend before Daytona is now taken up by the Super Bowl, and NASCAR does not want to compete with that.
In the week leading up to the Clash, Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic reported that NASCAR was looking at potentially going to Mexico for the Clash in the future. Some fans such as KP were fans of the potential idea.
Neal Lawson would rather see this become a points race, and he would rather the All-Star Race and the Clash no longer be on the schedule.
Eric Saylor suggested going to another country, England and Wembley Stadium, or another market in the U.S.
Others such as Chastainfan were not fans of the idea at all.
Going international would be a huge risk with huge rewards for NASCAR. Running the Clash in a new country like Mexico could put NASCAR in front of an entirely new audience, and it would make NASCAR an international motorsport. However, it also means taking a race away from the United States, where the vast majority of NASCAR fans reside.
It could work, but, it could also flop. If it flops, then NASCAR spent a lot of money to put on a race that saw little return on investment. Still, it seems going international is NASCAR’s next step.
Given the success of Garage 56, NASCAR is trying to strike internationally while the iron is hot. Many fans are on board with going international to expand NASCAR’s borders. The question is whether or not the Clash is the correct place for it.
The future of the Clash is bright but unclear. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and we could see an interesting new location for the race.