The Clash returns to the Coliseum with a Mexican twist

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, and Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 Guaranteed Rate Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 06, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

The Clash at the Coliseum will be back for a third year to kick off the 2024 NASCAR season, the sport announced Sunday. The season will begin at the iconic LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 4th.

And it won’t just be the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series on the quarter-mile temporary track inside the stadium this year. The NASCAR Mexico Series will race as well, offering extra racing for the fans and extra exposure for one of NASCAR’s international series.

“This is a tremendous win for our fans and our sport,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Racing Development and Strategy.

“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,” he added.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 DoorDash Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Farmer John Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Chevrolet, drive during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at Los Angeles Coliseum on February 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

For NASCAR, it’s a return to a major market as the sport tries to expand its reach. NASCAR has been reaching out to a massive variety of fans in the past several years. Fans of the sport’s history can enjoy a return to North Wilkesboro. Road course fans get an influx of right-turning tracks on the schedule. And urban fans now get a race in downtown Chicago and downtown Los Angeles.

City fans are a big market, and not one that NASCAR has historically been able to target as effectively.

Hosting a competition in downtown Los Angeles puts NASCAR in incredible company. The LA Memorial Coliseum two Super Bowls, two Olympics, a World Series and countless other major events over the past 100 years.

Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. are the only two drivers who have so far been able to add their names to the list.

For the Mexico Series, the opportunity to precede one of NASCAR’s most-anticipated races is a major boon. The series is relatively young, having been founded in 2004, but has already helped bring Xfinity Series champion driver Daniel Suarez up to the Cup Series.

“This is an incredible honor for the NASCAR Mexico Series and its drivers,” said Jimmy Morales, President and General Manager of the NASCAR Mexico Series. “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.”

Los Angeles is a fitting place, and NASCAR is paying homage to the significant Hispanic population, including plenty of fans of the sport, in and around the city.

Although fans at the track will be able to enjoy a Sunday of uninterrupted racing, the television arrangement will not be quite so seamless. The Clash itself will be televised on FOX, while the NASCAR Mexico Series race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 3 in Mexico ‘pan-regionally’ on Claro Sports and the D Motors channel on DirecTV.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, enters the track to practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at Los Angeles Coliseum on February 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tickets to see the race live are already available on the NASCAR Clash website and will be good for both races. Not all seats are available yet, but those that are can be purchased for $55 and up. NASCAR’s press release lists tickets $65, though, with kids 12-and-under at $10, and a special $40 deal for college students.

The announcement comes as NASCAR finalizes its schedule for next season. Earlier this week, Bristol Motor Speedway announced that its spring race will back on the famous concrete, replacing the dirt track that’s been run for the past three years.

Owen Johnson