NASCAR: LA Coliseum cannot accommodate full field of cars

Mow there is talk of the Clash becoming a points race instead of an exhibition in 2024. The only points race in SoCal in 2023 is the Pala Casino 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on Feb. 26. The two-mile oval is scheduled to undergo a reconstruction; however, that will reduce it to a half-mile track and could take as long as two years to complete. The Clash could fill the void.

NASCAR currently holds 36 Cup Series points races that count toward the championship. The Pala Casino 400 (previously called the Auto Club 400) has long been one of them. But NASCAR is facing the prospect of having no SoCal points race in 2024 and perhaps 2025 while the track’s reconstruction takes place.

One potential solution prompting discussion among NASCAR officials is to turn the Clash at the Coliseum into a points race and move it to the end of February after the Daytona 500, which is traditionally the first points race of the year. Los Angeles Times

Editor’s Note: That might not work because the LA Coliseum is too small (1/4 mile) to accommodate a full field of Cup cars. The 36 drivers entered for this year’s clash will first have to qualify to determine the starting order for the four scheduled Heat races. Of the cars entered, only 27 will earn a spot in the Main Event. If this were a points scoring race 15 cars would go home with zero points to start the year. Of course, NASCAR could award those 15 drivers an equal number of points and send them home early.

Mark C. reporting for