New Olympics event compared to NASCAR on ice

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(NBC News Channel) - When the Winter Olympics kick off next month there will be a few new events to look out for, including Mass Start Speed Skating, where the skaters better be the ones looking out.

On ice, speed skating will debut a mass start event that all but guarantees just a touch of mayhem.

Joey Mantia explains of traditional speed skating, "So long track speed skating, two guys go to the line, one in each lane, you're racing against the clock. Throw that all out the window."

Racing 16 laps on an icy 400 meter loop, the event draws comparisons to the madness of the Tour De France peloton and the adrenaline of Daytona.

KC Boutiette says, "Well the mass start is like NASCAR on ice. You've got 24 guys whipping around tight turns, there's crashes, there's strategic maneuvers, the whole race everyone is trying to position themselves."

NBC's coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics begins live in PyeongChang, South Korea on Thursday, February 8.