The NASCAR Clash’s Prosperity Might Extend Beyond Los Angeles.

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The future success of the NASCAR Clash may lie outside L.A.

When NASCAR initially disclosed its plans to relocate its preseason exhibition race to Los Angeles and build a ¼-mile asphalt track inside a sports coliseum, the concept seemed implausible.

However, the event garnered a positive response in the city, with increased TV ratings and attendance during its first two years compared to when it was held at Daytona.

The recent Saturday night race, won by Denny Hamlin, faced an unprecedented scheduling change due to severe weather in the L.A. area. Despite inconveniences for fans and the last-minute TV adjustment, NASCAR managed to complete the race and the accompanying NASCAR Mexico event before adverse weather conditions prevailed.

The NASCAR Clash's Prosperity Might Extend Beyond Los Angeles.
The NASCAR Clash’s Prosperity Might Extend Beyond Los Angeles. (Credits: The Portland Press Herald)

The three-year deal to host the Clash in Los Angeles concluded this year. While NASCAR officials have not committed to its future, many drivers believe the innovative concept should be further explored.

Driver Kyle Larson commended NASCAR, expressing surprise at the success of the event and the great atmosphere. He sees potential for this type of event in different states or countries to broaden the fan base. Larson stated, “I hope they can take this kind of model and move it around and grow it and try and broaden our fan base some.”

Despite challenges, including the absence of initially sold tickets for Saturday’s activities, Hamlin praised NASCAR’s efforts to adjust the schedule and hold the race a day earlier.

He considered the Saturday race a success, emphasizing that it was the only option to ensure the race took place, and he appreciated NASCAR’s unprecedented changes for the fans.

Hamlin also sees the potential for the Los Angeles model to be used elsewhere. He stated, “I think it was a success. Certainly, you can’t argue it from a viewership standpoint. I certainly think that it’s got merit in going to different places, but I think L.A. was very good to us, and I think we were good for this community, as well.”

While NASCAR’s future in Los Angeles remains uncertain, the event has been popular for TV partner Fox Sports. The absence of a regularly scheduled Cup Series race in the L.A. market following the demolition of Auto Club Speedway adds to the possibility of an extended stay at the L.A. Coliseum.

Driver Joey Logano views the Coliseum experiment as indicative of NASCAR’s openness to exploring non-traditional venues. He commented, “The experiment was a great success, and we proved that we can do it anywhere. Now that we’ve raced at one of the most historic stadiums in the world, it’s pretty cool.

I think you can pick this up and place it somewhere else if you need to or something completely different. We’ve done crazier things at this point. There are dirt races. There are little small tracks like this, street races. You name it, we can do it.”

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