The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will have an encore.
Following a first-of-its-kind 2022 event on a 0.25-mile track built inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy Ben Kennedy announced Sunday on FOX that the sanctioning body planned to run it back.
The sequel will take place Feb. 5 on FOX and again serve as the prelude to the Daytona 500 two weeks later. The exhibition also will be the first of three visits to California with NASCAR’s premier series also visiting Auto Club Speedway and Sonoma Raceway in 2023. The remainder of next season’s NASCAR Cup Series schedule will be announced at a later date.
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“Our entire industry made a bold move by bringing the Busch Light Clash to the LA Coliseum this past February and it paid off by becoming an instant classic with both new and existing fans,” Kennedy said in a news release. “We are intent on showcasing our sport and drivers on the biggest stage and there is none bigger than the LA Coliseum. We’re thrilled to return to the heart of Los Angeles to officially start the season and set the stage for the Daytona 500.”
Joey Logano was the winner of the inaugural event, a reimagined and innovative approach to the annual preseason race. There was a pre-race concert featuring Pitbull, an in-race performance by Ice Cube — and oh yeah, plenty of beating and banging among the best stock-car racers in the world, with the City of Angels as the backdrop.
Last year’s rendition marked the first instance that The Clash was held away from Daytona International Speedway, which hosted the event since its inaugural running in 1979. The 2.5-mile superspeedway was home to The Clash through 2020. The 2021 preseason race was held on the facility’s road course before moving west.
PHOTOS: Building the track
Last year’s event was a landmark success, with heat races and last-chance qualifiers setting the tone for the frenetic action that would follow in the main event.
“I feel like I came in with pretty high expectations, and I think everything was just a little bit better,” Kyle Larson said after the race earlier this year. “I think the atmosphere was amazing, just everything about it was really cool. … I hope we can do more of this in the future. I don’t know what the fans think of it, the new fans that are here, but I hope they enjoyed it. That’s the most important part. Just really proud of NASCAR for the effort they put in and what they were able to execute. I felt like this was a really smoothly run event, no real hiccups at all and that’s all you can ask for.”