Back in the day, NASCAR promoters could pack the grandstands for stock car races inside football stadiums.
Races on the quarter-mile oval inside Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., were popular in days gone by and still wildly successful today.
NASCAR officials are hoping to capture some of that bullring magic with this weekend’s Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum.
Harrison Burton will make his debut in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang on the quarter-mile asphalt oval track that has been constructed inside the historic Coliseum.
Although he raced often on short tracks as he worked his way up racing’s ladder Burton has little experience on a track as tight as the one inside the Coliseum.
“I ran some three-eights and some quarter miles in Legends cars, but none in a stock car,” he said. “It’s going to be an adjustment period for sure. There’s not much of a notebook for that.
“Preparing for the race and understanding the track will be a challenge.”
Burton said he’s relying on iRacing and on the simulation tools provided by Ford Performance to learn all he can prior to the opening practice session on Saturday morning.
“There are ways to get it done,” he said. “I’ve used iRacing and simulation in the past to prepare for road courses and new tracks, and this one is definitely a new one.”
Historically speaking, he has big shoes to fill at his Wood Brothers team when it comes to Cup-level success on stadium tracks. Team founder Glenn Wood won four Cup races at Bowman Gray Stadium, and Marvin Panch added a fifth. Wood led every lap in three of his Stadium wins as did Panch in his.
Saturday’s practice session will be shown on FOX Sports 2 at 12:30 PM ET. Qualifying will be at 8:30 PM ET on Fox Sports 1. The 25-lap Heat races and 50-lap Last Chance Qualifying races will be televised on FOX beginning at 3:00 PM ET on Sunday. Coverage of the 150-lap, non-points Clash follows at 6:00 PM ET on FOX.