Los Angeles already experiences its own clash among cultures, preferences and fashion statements. One thing Angelenos do agree on, however, is supporting their sports teams in person.
The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum amplified these fashion clashes, placing meticulously planned outfits alongside tried-and-true combinations like a T-shirt and jeans while bringing together generations of fans. First-time racegoers and dedicated fans traveling from track to track alike wore outfits they were proud to be photographed in.
Vintage revival and the resurgence of Y2K fashion were fan-favorite trends. Brightly colored jackets, retro and bold car graphics, and checkered-flag patterns were in full force. Some opted for matching color schemes with luxe fabrics or dressed representing their favorite driver or track. Attendees that chose to dress up for the event did so for both Saturday’s qualifying sessions and the main event on Sunday. With the LA Rams in the Super Bowl this Sunday, fans displayed their allegiance by incorporating Rams merchandise into their race-day looks.
Students at the University of Southern California are well acquainted with the process of attending a football game at the Coliseum dressed in head to toe in Trojan Cardinal and Gold. However, most have less experience in dressing up for a day at the NASCAR race track, making for a fashion experimentation playground. Many of those who attended the race were seated in a designated student section or alongside family members who came back to California to see the race, and of course, visit their child.
Celebrities have a long history of getting dressed up for a particular sporting event and mirroring that event’s particular style. On past race days, they donned jackets representing the NASCAR brand or the colors of their favorite driver’s team. At this event, many opted for leather accents or jackets paired with a simpler look of a T-shirt and jeans to offset the mid-afternoon heat. Others took the leather look a step further, blending it into a more elevated ensemble or pairing it with NASCAR merchandise.
Before race day, fashion was already front of mind thanks to the FaZe Clan and NASCAR limited-edition merchandise collaboration. FaZe Clan is an esports organization competing across the globe against other esports teams. The collection features vintage-inspired merchandise that mirrors some of the Y2K racing graphics other fans sported.
The majority of fans photographed said this race was their first, or a friend or family member that went with them is the reason they came to Sunday’s event.
Patrick Rogers, NASCAR Vice President of Marketing Services and Project Lead for the Clash at the Coliseum, noted that 70% of all ticket sales came from first-time NASCAR attendees. That rate signals a potential demographic shift in the average NASCAR fan, with younger individuals curious to see what a race is like.
The event’s debut stoked great excitement surrounding both the LA market and the proximity to college students, many of whom were picking a driver for the first time and exploring a new sport. The Clash also provided an opportunity for many Los Angeles residents and USC students to experience a new sporting event, as NASCAR opened the door to welcome in new fans.
Jade Bolton is a communications student in her senior year at USC.