Why NASCAR Should Not Go Back to Grassroots Tracks for the Clash

Published 02/06/2024, 1:35 PM EST

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Where would the Busch Light Clash be headed in 2025? This is the raging topic that has got the NASCAR community talking after the conclusion of the 2024 Clash at the Coliseum. By all means, this is an exhibition event to reach out to more new audiences and expand the boundaries of the sport. Three years in the making, the Clash at the Coliseum has served that purpose well. But it looks like the tides are changing and the Clash could find its new home next year.

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The recent troubles of the 2024 Clash have now allowed the community to dwell on the event’s future and where it’s headed. There’s always an option to look back and work with the tried and tested method, which is going back to Daytona. However, rather than reminiscing about the past glories, there are better options for NASCAR to work with. Especially, if they are keen to grow the idea behind an event like Busch Light Clash.

A vision beyond Daytona

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With the points race at Daytona serving as the main event to get the ball rolling for the Cup Series, an All-Star race back at the venue does not add any value. Considering that NASCAR might not return to Coliseum for the next year’s event, the question remains; which track serves the purpose well if not Daytona? And the answer is North Wilkesboro Speedway or the Fairgrounds Speedways.

But why the short-track venues? NASCAR needs to strike a good balance between catering to its die-hard fan base and attracting new audiences to the sport. It’s not just these two venues but more such tracks that are in need of a major overhaul and NASCAR’s Clash event sure has the power and might to achieve that.

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A report by Sportsnaut states that this idea was shared by Cup Series Crew chief, Chris Gaberhart, and spotter Frankie Kimmel. Imagine NASCAR, reaching out to many such short-track venues and running the All-Star event year by year. It would act as a catalyst in providing a major turnover to such venues, and more importantly, bring the masses together rather than splitting them.

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The idea for an All-Star race should be along the lines of reaching the fans and not just trying to attract them. And this is where NASCAR needs to put a conscious effort going forward.

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Experimentation better option than playing it safe

While the short track venues would serve the purpose well for the opening event of the season, NASCAR should not shun itself away from exploring. The other prospect that has the potential to take over the Clash event is a street course event. The success story of the Chicago Street course is something that they would like to build on an event in Mexico City that could be in the makings for next year.

So what is the sweet point for NASCAR going forward for the 2025 Clash-like event? The onus should be creating a new event, one that falls well within the arc of promoting the essence of the Cup Series and at the same time reaching out to the masses. The success and outreach for the last three years in Los Angeles is one to learn from and perhaps, for the time being, a lot of us are not able to see the big picture.

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All things said and done, only NASCAR can turn a corner in making a good call next year and hopefully, they do not dwell on past glory and strive towards a promising future.

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Written by:

Chintan Devgania

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One take at a time

Chintan Mahesh Devgania is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As someone who likes to dive deep into the sport, he often takes up less explored topics to eventually see them make their way into top stories. His report on Toyota’s young recruit, Jade Avedisian, sharing her thoughts on Late Model Racing, was an example of that.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad

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