by: GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — NASCAR’s Clash preseason race returns to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2023.
NASCAR announced Sunday that it will bring exhibition racing back to the Southern California sporting landmark next season. The Clash’s highly successful debut four months ago was part of NASCAR’s Next Gen car launch and NASCAR received some of its most positive reviews in years for racing.
The Clash took place on a temporary 0.25 mile track inside the venerable Colosseum. Joey Logano won the exhibition, which included an Ice Cube halftime show as part of a six-hour entertainment extravaganza that delighted both teams and their fans in the often stuffy sport.
The next race will likely take place shortly after the 100th anniversary of the Colosseum, which opened in January 1923. The asphalt on the short temporary oval on the grounds of the Colosseum held up well in the first edition, and the crews were able to quickly repair any damage. to the walls of the tight race in tight quarters.
The first 43 editions of the Clash had been held at Daytona International Speedway since its inception in 1979, but NASCAR moved it to the West Coast in an effort to excite and attract attention in an eye-catching venue. NASCAR hadn’t raced in a traditional sports stadium since 1956 at Chicago’s Soldier Field, but it did put on a show with Ice Cube rapping on the peristyle, Pitbull also performing and Jeff Gordon lighting the famous cauldron.
The Colosseum, which hosted two Olympics and the first Super Bowl, is still the home of the USC Trojans football team. The arena also hosted the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL until they moved to SoFi Stadium in 2020.
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