Commentary

OBSERVATIONS: Busch Light Clash at Los Angeles Coliseum

By: Ashley McCubbin

When NASCAR first announced they were going to build a track inside the Los Angeles Coliseum, there were a lot of skeptics about what that may bring. Though following the entertainment that unfolded Sunday, it seems the sport made the right decision.

The event taking place in a market that would have been not possible otherwise allowed for plenty of fans (70% of the attendance) to see NASCAR for the first time. Exhibition races are also supposed to be about fun, seeing drivers battle for the glory without any pressure on the line. Do you see the advantages?

The pre-race concert by Pitbull, followed by another at halfway by Ice Cube gave an added bonus to the already entertaining battling on the tight half-mile. Sure, there is debate in whether both of those were the right pick to perform (relevancy), but given the overall reaction by the crowd in being entertained it wasn’t the worse.

Throughout the day, you were entertained as there was not a dull moment in something to keep you captivated. You were not reaching for the remote because you had gotten bored, or fell asleep during the break as normally that can draw out.

The racing on-track was a good product on top of that, for a bonus. There were battles all day long, even with the possibility to go three-wide at times despite how tight. There were some bumps, but isn’t that what every short track fan knows well? It got a little chaotic in the second Last Chance Qualifier, but that’s to be expected in knowing go or you’re left watching. The fans were also treated to a battle between a pair of short track giants in Joey Logano and Kyle Busch, with the driver of the No. 18 overcooking his stuff tracking down the No. 22.

With a successful event in the books, the doors are endless as to what the sanctioning body can do. What other stadiums would be fun to race inside? What other tight bullrings around the country could be exciting to watch?

Let’s say this now – Bowman Gray Stadium host the NASCAR All-Star Race. Could you imagine the beating and banging for a million dollars?

The only thing that needed improvement on the day was FOX’s coverage, as it lacked in several areas. They did not fully cover the event as expected, not announcing Ty Dillon’s disqualification from the LCQ immediately. They missed big moments, including Ryan Blaney throwing his HANS device at another competitor. They also could have used side-by-side commercial coverage more.

But hey, this is the product that we’ve been dealing with a couple years now and come to expect so it’s not a surprise. It just sucks that the complaints haven’t been heard considering short track companies FloRacing can offer better coverage of smaller events.

There’s also Bubba Wallace, who made no friends with his rough driving to qualify, followed by running at the back all day long in the main event. I wonder what his new teammate Kurt Busch thinks of him after being run over.

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