LOS ANGELES, Ca. (WRIC) — In its latest effort to tap new markets and intrigue fans with interesting race concepts, NASCAR will open a famous football stadium to fans for the first such race since 1971.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which has been open for 99 years and is a few years from hosting the Summer Olympic Games for the third time, will be the host of the 2022 Busch Light Clash on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.
The 23 cars racing in the event will be speeding around the quarter-mile track for 150 laps. A temporary series of layers has covered the bermuda grass playing surface and the traditional running track that surrounds it.
The first is a thick layer of polyethylene plastic Visqueen sheeting, followed by plywood. A layer of geotextile woven fabric covers the plywood to prevent slipping, and covering that is about a foot of “crushed miscellaneous base,” some of which came from a performance by Kanye West and Drake at the Coliseum in December. The crushed base is covered by asphalt, the final layer.
The race track and the layers below its surface were concocted this way so that the grass field underneath can stay undisturbed during construction, the race itself and as the layers are disassembled to return the Coliseum back to a football venue.
The last time NASCAR held a race in a football stadium was in 1971 at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, a stadium that’s famous in its own right for countless high-intensity stock car races. The stadium, which is where the Winston-Salem University Rams play football, has a permanent quarter-mile track around the field.
Even Richmond has had stock car racing in venues dedicated to sports that involve running on grass fields. According to racing historian Frank Buhrman, stock car races were held weekly at Richmond’s City Stadium in the 1940’s.