NASCAR’S HISTORIC LA DEBUT: WOW!!!
It’s like falling in love – for the first time
Have you ever been with two people falling in love in real time, right there before your eyes? If you have, then you would understand the magic of being part of last weekend’s crowd of 60,000 who sat absolutely spellbound, on the edge of their stadium seats, as NASCAR made its LA debut with a resounding roar, less from the cars, more from the audience, with its first appearance in this entertainment hub of an industry that in 2021 generated revenues exceeding $2.1 Trillion; and when NASCAR came to town Sunday, February 6, with The Clash, the preseason exhibition to the Daytona 500’s season opener scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, NASCAR effectively, and emotionally, reminded this jaded company town why they got into the business in the first place.
NASCAR’s LA event was extraordinary – ground-breaking, in fact -- for reasons that were a unique mix of serving both infrastructure and enthusiasm, accommodating 23 NASCAR drivers racing at the LA Coliseum on a dramatically abbreviated purpose-built track while introducing an entirely new audience to the sport. According to Ticketmaster, more than 70% of the crowd were first time ticket holders to a NASCAR event. From the first heat, an LA crowd never looked so innocent, so enthralled, so completely taken in by the energy and the sound the roar the cars engines created, so powerful it was like a bass guitar playing strings directly on your heart. (Not an exaggeration.) Add to the magic race car drivers going 60+ miles-an-hour around a track ¼ mile long, with the kind of unabashed bravado that even Hollywood cannot replicate, and you have successfully made an audience of 60k blush, basically falling in love with everything about the spirit of NASCAR, the one-of-a-kind stock car racing operator that spent north of $1M to create this immersive, one-of-a-kind afternoon, converting the LA Coliseum, USC’s iconic football field, into a “short” asphalt racetrack reducing the traditional 1.5-mile lap to a mere 0.25 mile track.
Despite advances in technology, the impending metaverse, and the resulting reliance on screens cinematic and mobile, NASCAR relentlessly serves its base, who in turn is recognized across all professional sports as being the most brand-loyal consumers of the companies sponsoring NASCAR.
Love is like that – it’s a team sport. It shows up. If NASCAR’s LA debut is an indication that stock car racing will be coming to a town near you, well, you better get ready to put on your safety belt – you’re about to fall in love.
If it can happen in LA, it can happen anywhere.