By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was crisp fall morning about 5:00 am at the Los Angeles Coliseum. You can hear the early morning commuters, skid stopping, blowing their horns while passing one of the world’s most iconic structures.
There is no football game on this day but present is pro- driver Kyle Larson. Last year’s CUP series winner was in town reviewing the scene of where one of Nascar’s new different king of race will take place.
The Bud Light Clash will open Nascar Cup Series at the Coliseum on Feb. 6. It will be the first of its kind exhibition race happening on a quarter mile asphalt track that had a ground breaking recently.
Larson walked the field gazing in the empty stands, the Coliseum walls with a smile on his face,” I’m excited already,” he said. “I can tell this is going to be something different.”
New Valley Construction of Phoenix, Arizona are handling the transition from football field to racing oval. The track will be temporary being used only for that weekend.
According to Steve Boscardin Valleys executive running the project and plywood and plastics are laid on the field to protect the surface and then six inches of base dirt are on the top. There is no pit area because there will be several short heat races.
The price tag for this unusual event that includes a temporary track is 1 million dollars.
Larson had a special 2021after joining Hendricks Motorsports racing in the #5 car. In just the 4th race of the season he took the checkered flag in Las Vegas. That made him the fastest team member to gain a win.
The native of Elk Grove, California engineered two-three race win streaks that included the longest race of the season, the Charlotte 600. The win the 269th for Hendricks Motorsports giving the team the most in Nascar Cup Series history.
He then won in Sanoma, California followed by a new event in Music city USA Nashville.
It was the season’s finale and championship-deciding race in Phoenix, where Larson’s did the unexpected after leading 101 laps, including the final 25 circuits when his pit crew posted its second-fastest stop of the year that advanced Larson from fourth to first for the closing laps.
After that race he stated “I cannot believe it, I didn’t even think I’d be racing a Cup car a year-and-a-half ago. To win a championship is crazy.”
To start the 2022 season he and other racers are about to do something new at the Coliseum. “Nascar is always trying creative things, this is one of them and it’s something I am looking forward to.”