Dale Earnhardt Jr Triggers Rumors of the Clash moving on from LA Coliseum & Why Daytona Return is Impossible

Published 02/07/2024, 7:34 AM EST

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The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum is officially over. And the conversation that has taken precedence besides Denny Hamlin‘s victory lane visit is the season-opening Clash’s future. Given NASCAR’s three-year handshake deal with the L.A. Coliseum, it seems we’ve seen the last of the rubber burning there, a point Dale Earnhardt Jr didn’t shy away from on his podcast.

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While Dale Jr’s heart is set on a return to Daytona for the season’s opener, he was also quick to note that a comeback to Daytona International Speedway might not be in the cards anytime soon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr says local community and govt. might be behind Clash move

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Dale Earnhardt Jr didn’t beat around the bush: If the Clash can’t light up the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next year, why not circle back to Daytona’s sandy shores, where it all began? He’s pretty clear-cut about it – no need for detours to Mexico, Canada, local short tracks, South Boston, or anywhere else. Daytona’s where the heart is.

But, he’s not holding his breath. The way he sees it, if you’re in the event biz, you’re aiming for the biggest splash. And if someone’s waving a fatter check to draw the crowd to their backyard, that’s where the show’s headed, and not Daytona. Dale Jr figures the allure isn’t just about the dough; it’s about taking the race to fresh faces and places, thanks to local backers and government greenbacks eager to roll out the red carpet for NASCAR.

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Talking about other locations apart from Daytona that might be better suited in terms of money, the veteran said, There’s better opportunities financially, I think. That’s why it goes to the Coliseum right? That’s why it probably ends up somewhere else next year is because of the local community and the governments and so forth buying in physically like, you know, investing into the race. And getting our sport in front of a different audience, right, and so I understand the importance of that.”

He also revealed how the Daytona kick-off used to be the perfect lead-in to speed weeks. But with the current lack of practice runs and the week’s buzz, perhaps it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have it at Daytona. For NASCAR to rev up the Daytona 500 hype, it’d need to rewind to the full-throttle days.

Dale Jr also hinted at a wild card track that could steal the spotlight if NASCAR decides to do something out of the box.

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Earnhardt Jr believes a European short track can be considered to replace the Coliseum

Dale Earnhardt Jr is in the loop about NASCAR weighing its options for the inaugural race of 2025, but he mentioned his own preferred track for the Clash’s future. Located in the United Kingdom, Brands Hatch, especially its snug Indie circuit, could be a good option, he opined. “They have this little short course called the Indie course and it’s, I mean if there is..I’ve said this before, but if there’s a short track in the road course world it’s those style of tracks like the Indie course at Brand’s Hatch,” Dale Jr said.

He’s got a point about the charm of short tracks. They promise more bumper-to-bumper action, bringing the backmarkers into play sooner, which is just the ticket for spicing up the race with more jostling and overtaking. In Dale Jr’s book, a dash of lap traffic is just what the doctor ordered to keep the adrenaline pumping and the fans on the edge of their seats.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr Makes Massive Playoff Prediction for Ty Gibbs Amidst Performance Breakout

So, which track do you reckon NASCAR should aim for to drop the green flag in the next season?

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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