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Where Can the Clash be Held in 2025?

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What’s Happening?

The season-opening Busch Clash at the LA Coliseum is only one month away. It’s the third year of the event, the final year of the original 3-year contract. This means the Clash could have a new venue in 2025, but, where could it be held? Is there even a good reason to move the Clash from the Coliseum?

  • The Clash, a non-points event, has opened the NASCAR season since 1982. It originally was a 20-lap shootout at Daytona International Speedway held right after Daytona 500 qualifying. The LA Coliseum has hosted the event since 2022.
  • The Clash has been revitalized thanks to moving to the LA Coliseum. It has brought NASCAR to a new fanbase, and it fits in a good spot on the sports calendar. However, does that mean NASCAR should keep it the way it is?
  • Fans are interested to see where the Clash can end up. There are a few places NASCAR could go to with the season opener.

What Should the Clash Be?

Before looking at where the Clash can go, NASCAR has to ask one question, What should the Clash be? For the past three seasons, the Clash has been an event for new and casual fans. The race is in the second most populated city in the country with music acts such as Ice Cube and Wiz Khalifa. Those types of things attract a different audience than a typical NASCAR race will.

It makes sense given where the Clash is on the sports calendar. The season opener for any sport generally pulls in a larger audience and a larger casual fanbase than events in the middle of the season.

The Clash is also situated in the off-weekend before the Super Bowl, and it is the perfect marketing opportunity for Fox and NASCAR. In the weeks leading up to the race, Fox broadcasts the NFL Playoffs, including the NFC Championship Game. Fox can promote this event to a lot of potential NASCAR fans, so, making the race appealing to casual audiences is important.

NASCAR could go the All-Star Race route and make a race that is for the hard-core NASCAR fan. Taking care of the existing fanbase is vital, so, there is merit to this route. However, appealing to a new fanbase is important too, and this event at this time of year is a great time to do it.

If NASCAR wants to keep the race appealing to a more casual audience, they have to look at potential venues that appeal to that fanbase.

Potential Venues

Keep it at the Coliseum

As long as the LA Coliseum is okay with building a temporary race track every February, why not keep the Clash there? The crowds have been good to this point, and it brings in a solid TV audience. It puts NASCAR squarely in the second largest media market in the country, and, with no regular season race in the area, that becomes more important.

However, will this even get stale as time goes on? The 2023 race also devolved into a wreck fest, so, fans may grow weary if that becomes a trend.

The NEW Auto Club Speedway

If NASCAR wants to move the race to a purpose-built race track, why not move it to the brand-new Auto Club Speedway short track? It keeps the race in Southern California, which is great for the weather. It also keeps the race on a short track.

However, will the track even be ready in 2025? NASCAR still has no timeline for building a short track in Fontana. It seems it will happen, but, with no exact timeline, 2025 may be ambitious.

Return to Daytona

For traditionalists, why not take it back to Daytona International Speedway? It would be the rebirth of an event that many NASCAR fans looked forward to growing up. It’s also on a superspeedway, which tends to attract a more casual audience.

However, the Clash at Daytona seemed to run its’ course when the 2020s rolled around. Also, with NASCAR cutting down practice time before the Daytona 500, is it fair to give bigger race teams an extra 70 laps or so on the track before anyone else can race? If they change the format, maybe some of these problems fix themself.

Rose Bowl

If the Coliseum does not want to host it anymore, then why not move it to another iconic stadium in Southern California, the Rose Bowl. Imagine a NASCAR race at the Rose Bowl with the sun setting over the San Gabriel Mountains. It would be as picturesque as any NASCAR race.

However, the venue hosts the annual Rose Bowl along with potentially other postseason college football events in January, so, is there enough time to build a temporary stock car track? There is also less room around the football field at the Rose Bowl than there is at the Coliseum, so, would a track even be big enough?

Rockingham

If NASCAR wants to move back to Rockingham Speedway, the season-opening Clash could be a great venue. “The Rock” has hosted February races before, so, the weather could be good enough to host a NASCAR race. It would also excite die-hard NASCAR fans.

However, the track may not excite casual audiences. On top of that, even though they could host a race there in February, should they? February Rockingham races were often cold and sometimes damp, so, it may not be the best idea.

Where could the Clash be in 2025? Will they stay in Los Angeles, or, will it move somewhere else?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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