College Formula and Baja SAE teams compete for chance to race on NASCAR-built track inside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Building on last year’s competition between longtime rivals USC and UCLA, NASCAR and SAE SoCal announced today that multiple Formula and Baja SAE teams from across California will compete with the ultimate goal of racing on the temporary, quarter-mile racetrack built inside the world-famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

This year’s event will consist of up to 17 schools competing within three different vehicle categories: Internal Combustion, Electric, and Baja. Two organizations from each category will be selected to compete against each other based on the number of tickets they sell to the 2024 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum before January 19, 2024. One of these organizations, USC’s Formula SAE Internal Combustion team, has already been awarded one of the Internal Combustion spots as last year’s reigning champion.

The list of potential competing schools includes the following:

  • University of California, Irvine (UCI)
  • California Baptist University (CBU)
  • California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CPSLO)
  • San Diego State University (SDSU)
  • California Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP)
  • California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  • University of California, Riverside (UCR)
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
  • University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • University of San Diego (USD)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
  • California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
  • Loyola Marymount University (LMU)


Opportunity for teams to compete will be contingent on each vehicle passing SAE technical inspection in the weeks prior to the event. Competition format will be single car on track, time-trial style with further details to be announced at a later date. The event will be closed to the public, but each participating organization will be allowed to invite a select number of guests to observe.

“It’s exciting to bring SAE teams back to the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on an even bigger scale,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Racing Development and Strategy. “Our future racers and engineers span far and wide, so it’s wonderful to have students from all across California show off their talent and mastery at crafting best-in-class racecars.”

Formula SAE is an intercollegiate engineering competition where students across the globe design, build, test, and race prototype open-wheel racecars. Similarly, Baja SAE is a competition where engineering students design, build, test ,and race off-road vehicles. During these competitions, participating teams are scored in multiple categories evaluated by industry professionals, including design, cost effectiveness and performance in dynamic events. These competitions are important for students of all majors to apply technical skills cultivated within classes and campus maker spaces. In addition, they provide resume-building experiences for students seeking internship and career opportunities.

This year’s Formula and Baja SAE competition will set the stage for another historic weekend of NASCAR racing that culminates in a power-packed doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 4 at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The day will begin with the NASCAR Mexico Series competing in California for the first time, followed by the third-annual Busch Light Clash, the NASCAR Cup Series’ season-opening exhibition. NASCAR on FOX will once again carry the broadcast for the Busch Light Clash while the NASCAR Mexico Series race will be on Fox Deportes, Fox Sports 3 in Mexico, and available pan regionally on Claro Sports and the D Motors channel on DirecTV.

A single ticket purchased is good for both races, and fans are encouraged to get their tickets now while supplies last by visiting