NASCAR should run Rolex 24 style Cup, Xfinity, Trucks races at Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH — Geez, I’d actually forgotten about that brilliant idea.

Well, brilliance is in the eye of the beholder, but since I’m holding, brilliant it is.

And ignored, at least so far.

Whenever Rolex week rolls around, like others, I try to get the arms around the different classes of cars rolling into the new IMSA sports-car season. In the midst of all that, either while doing my own research or chatting with others, one thought always comes to mind: “Aren’t you glad NASCAR races are so much easier to follow?”

Yep, of course. But wait a minute. In recent years, NASCAR seems to have borrowed ideas from little brother IMSA, mainly in non-racing areas and especially in efforts to turn race weekends into events and spectacles, instead of just practice and qualifying.

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A few years ago, when NASCAR seemed to be searching for ideas to liven up the preseason Busch Clash, an IMSA-inspired idea was floated from this particular outpost. Move the Clash from Daytona’s tri-oval to the road course, and invite every playoff team from the previous season’s Cup, Xfinity and Truck series. 

If the highest of high-tech prototypes can literally clang fenders with a Corvette or Mustang through the East Horseshoe, surely we could do the same with Chase Elliott’s Camaro and Ben Rhodes’ F-150.

You know how far that idea went. The Clash, with its usual lineup, was indeed moved to the road course for one run in 2021, but then shipped to Hollywood, where next weekend it’ll make its second appearance in the L.A. Coliseum. 

The Clash, until further notice, will be a traveling spectacle with many potential suitors looking at hosting NASCAR’s kickoff party. But racing inside a football stadium, and now adding a Chicago street race to the schedule, shows that NASCAR has embraced the once unthinkable. 

Let’s say you barely know Joey Logano from Little Joe Cartwright, and couldn’t pick Ryan Blaney out of a lineup — much less William Byron. You don’t know Watkins Glen from the Roval. 

Casual fan, at best. 

But would you watch a Daytona road-course race featuring cars versus cars versus trucks? I bet you would.

Excuse me while I go back to beating that drum.

— Reach Ken Willis at

Read More: NASCAR should run Rolex 24 style Cup, Xfinity, Trucks races at Daytona 2023-01-27 10:09:21

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