Monday, April 15, 2024

Busch Light Clash returns to LA in 2024 with Mexico Series

The NASCAR Cup SeriesBusch Light Clash will return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2024, but it will have some company for its third foray as the NASCAR México Series is also tagging along. It will take place on 4 February, once again serving as the first race of the 2024 Cup season despite being an exhibition.

“This is a tremendous win for our fans and our sport,” commented Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy and the mastermind of the Clash at the Coliseum. “Not only will the fans see the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series in action, they will also bear witness to the talent and skill that is found within the NASCAR Mexico Series. I can’t think of a better way to begin our 2024 season.”

The Clash was moved from its birthplace of Daytona International Speedway to Los Angeles in 2022 in an effort to stimulate racing interest for an increasingly unpopular exhibition in a unique market. Although the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a historic venue known for American football and hosting the Olympics, NASCAR transformed the playing surface into a quarter-mile oval to mixed but mostly positive reception. It was the first time that NASCAR competed at a stadium track since 1958 at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, while the last at an American ballpark was Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1956.

With what is formerly Auto Club Speedway not on the 2024 calendar as it prepares for reconfiguration, Southern California will be without a points race until its reopening. This sparked rumours about the Clash becoming a points-paying race for 2024, though Sunday’s reveal put an end to that possibility.

The México Series, one of NASCAR’s four international championships, last raced in the United States from 2013 to 2015 at Phoenix Raceway. 2014 winner Daniel Suárez is currently a Cup Series driver.

“This is an incredible honour for the NASCAR México Series and its drivers,” said México Series general manager Jimmy Morales. “The competition in our series is always intense, but I know our drivers will want nothing more than to become the first Mexican driver to win inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This is going to be a race we will not soon forget.”

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending Clash winner. Joey Logano claimed the first race in 2022 en route to the championship.

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