The Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum had a huge change this past weekend. The race was moved up a day due to the threat of bad weather.
It was the right choice on many fronts, as the race wasn't going to get run on its originally scheduled Sunday night due to the torrential rain that hit the California coast.
Moving the race up a day became a talking point among NASCAR drivers and leadership. It appears to be something that could be on the table for future Cup events as well.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Elton Sawyer, isn't ruling that possibility out. Mother Nature hasn't always been kind to NASCAR, and a lot of races over the past several years have been affected by it.
Sawyer appeared on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio this week to address everything that went down in making the choice to move the race, and if this is in the "playbook" for NASCAR moving forward.
It would be far harder for points-paying races according to Sawyer, but it isn't completely off the table.
? "I would never say never." pic.twitter.com/KzEvbvQi3K
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) February 6, 2024
"I think there will be, in the days to come, and as we reflect on this past weekend at The Coliseum, and the thing that we learned and what we had to go through. Yes, it was unprecedented, but I think, just the way this industry has evolved over 75-plus years, I would never say never," Sawyer said. "There's more challenges when it's not an exhibition race, and we're paying points and things of that nature. Credit to the garage area, the race teams, the drivers, who were able to get their cars ready. We got through the inspection. We got them out there. We set the field. We basically eliminated the heat races, and we still were able to have practice and get the field set."
As he said, it isn't an easy choice to move a race when dangerous weather is in the forecast, but it's something that ought to be kept if NASCAR faces a similar situation again .
"So, when you take all of those things into consideration, how that would work on a point-paying weekend, a few more challenges. But I think you look at it, you never say never and we just continue to learn," Sawyer said.
It's certainly too early to foresee something similar happening during the regular season, or even the playoffs, but having the ability to move a race up a day, or even a few hours, to avoid inclement weather conditions is worth having at the sport's disposal.
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