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Why is Machine Gun Kelly Performing at the Clash?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR announced on Sunday that Machine Gun Kelly, also known as “MGK”, will perform during the halfway “race-break” at the Clash at the LA Coliseum. Many NASCAR fans were not happy at this announcement, so, why did NASCAR decide to bring him in for the Clash at the Coliseum?

  • This is not MGK’s first time performing at a NASCAR race. He performed after the 2017 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he was listed as the grand marshall for the 2018 All-Star Race.
  • MGK joins Ice Cube and Cypress Hill as musical acts who have performed at the Clash at the Coliseum. It’s been NASCAR’s trend for the last couple of years to bring in unique performers at this race.
  • Fans were not all thrilled with this announcement. However, other fans applauded NASCAR for trying something different and bringing a unique performer.

A Look at Who This Event is For

The Clash at the LA Coliseum is geared towards a different crowd, and it has been since it was moved to the LA Coliseum in 2022. The reason the event exists in its current form is to reach a new audience, particularly in the Los Angeles market.

The event is held in a stadium in downtown Las Angeles, not a purpose-built race track. The logic there is to bring the racing to the people instead of asking people to drive to the outskirts or even outside of town to a race track. It’s the same idea behind the Chicago Street Race.

This goes down to the musical performances. Instead of bringing in the normal music acts that attract the normal NASCAR crowd, bring in acts that attract the crowd NASCAR is trying to reach. Artists like Ice Cube, MGK, and Cypress Hill all fit that description.

MGK Has Been at NASCAR Races Before

While it’s unclear how big of a NASCAR fan MGK truly is, he has been at races before. He performed following the 2017 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte, and he returned a year later as the grand marshal. He was spotted again at the 2019 race at Auto Club Speedway.

Regardless of how big of a race fan MGK is, he has a previous relationship with NASCAR. He likes it to some degree, and having a musical performer who has an appreciation for the sport is a good thing. The last thing NASCAR wants is someone performing at their event solely for a paycheck.

In the Stands

Despite this, not every fan likes the idea of MGK performing at a NASCAR Cup Series race. Some fans just do not like MGK as a musician, but, others appreciate NASCAR trying something different.

Mike Curry gets what NASCAR is doing, but he does not see the point in NASCAR trying this.

Brendan loves the idea, and he feels there are plenty of other races with music acts geared toward the typical NASCAR fan.

BuschWhackerReviews would rather see Eminem.

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Jacob Painter says that NASCAR has to reach a younger fanbase.

BOBANSMASH51 proposed a NASCAR-themed barbershop quartet.

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MK calls it a “Solid choice”, with a catch.

HurricanesnHendrick does not like MGK, and he does not feel bringing MGK in is good for younger viewers.

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Joshua Lipowski

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