Race Weekend Central

Who Wants a Race? NASCAR Seems Open to Almost Anything

The folks at NASCAR had a very successful event the first Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum. They managed a decent race on the streets of Chicago. In another example of not being able to accept success and having to mess with it, they are now reported to be in talks with the L.A. Dodgers about having a race in or around Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine.

The Clash at the Coliseum was hugely popular the first year but now in its third year, it seemed the luster was off of the rose and attendance was certainly down. The Chicago street course is back for a second time this year, but it is hard to say how long the city is going to commit to the major disruption of traffic in the heart of such a huge city.

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The talks with the Dodgers are a means of trying to keep NASCAR in the second-biggest media market in the country. The reconstruction of Auto Club Speedway has yet to come to fruition, so the sanctioning body is looking for alternatives. If California is the target, there are a few options available for temporary races.

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most scenic roads in the country. Let’s run a race from San Diego to San Francisco up the 101. The length of the trip is just over 500 miles, which would be typical for an old school NASCAR race. You would be exposing the sport to millions of fans the length of the state of California. The only real challenge is that you’d need several pit crews for each team to take care of the cars because the race is in one direction and not laps. The television coverage could be stunning because it would mostly be helicopter and drone shots.

In another destination type of race, they could do a round trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. At 540 miles round-trip with a finish in L.A., it would be a long drag race and a real test of the machines.

Keeping it local, they could close down Disneyland for a day and race around the House of the Mouse. Teams could dress in prince costumes or Disney character outfits. 

If the race has to move, there are a myriad of options throughout the country. Ideally you could run a race around Central Park. It would dwarf the success of the Chicago street course.

Numerous cities in the country have interstate loops that encircle them. Houston, Indianapolis and Charlotte all come to mind. We could always go back to A1A in Florida to get back to the roots of the sport.

Are any of these possibilities reasonable? Not really, but who thought the Clash at the Coliseum would work? In reality, it would be so much better if the sport would go to an established local short track and use the millions that are wasted on these temporary tracks to upgrade a facility. They could go to a different NASCAR Home Track every year and the positive PR for local tracks would be immeasurable.

For now, the future of the schedule appears to be up for bid. If you have a facility with a bunch of seats and feel like you want to watch heavy equipment build and destroy a race track in a few weeks, give a shout to NASCAR. You just might end up with a major stock car race at your venue.

About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Christopher Lowe

Please don’t give Ben Kennedy any more ideas. Ben doesn’t understand the concept of just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Joshua

What short, pointless article. Someone had to meet a deadline.

Echo

I love the article because it highlights just exactly how ridiculous the France family is. If you think this article is pointless then read all the articles after the last 3 races. This one has validity about the fools running nascar. I know Brian is still in charge lololol

Bill B

NASCAR better watch out or they will have to change their name to something more descriptive of the series…. NASCARNIVAL or NASCIRCUS.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill B
John

Move the Clash to a real racetrack somewhere in th South. NASCAR doesn’t need anymore gimmicks. Besides, the long haul to California and back to Daytona is a ridiculous, unneeded expense and logistic nightmare for the teams.

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