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The NASCAR Busch Series

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Busch Series

The NASCAR Busch Series

Jim Johnson
August 18, 2006

NASCAR runs a second division stock car racing event called the NASCAR Busch Series. It is the training ground for up and coming drivers wanting to eventually compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Initially known as the Sportsman Series, it began back in 1950, and was based around a series of short track racing events. In 1984 brewing company Anheuser-Busch took over the leading role of series sponsor, and 2 years later the series became officially known as the Busch Grand National Series. In 2003 the Busch Grand National Series series became known as the NASCAR Busch Series.

The NASCAR Busch Series features race cars which differ from those race cars used in other NASCAR series in several important ways. First, they are smaller, better at coping with the tighter curves of the track. Secondly, they have larger spoilers. Third, they use leaded fuel. Concern has been expressed over the environmental damage this has caused, and NASCAR is researching the possibility of using only unleaded fuel in the cars in the Busch Series, working to determine how it will affect performance. NASCAR design teams work all year round to improve the cars competing in the Busch Series, which also rely on the hard work as skill of NASCAR crews on the ground during the series races. Manufacturers have now approved NASCAR's plans to make some major changes to the cars which compete in the Busch Series. This is an example of the major changes which have occurred within NASCAR itself since its early days in which spectators, living in a country short of new cars, didn't want to watch good quality cars being damaged in NASCAR races, so that modified old cars were used in the series instead.

The Busch Series not only provides an opportunity for NASCAR drivers to hone their skills for the Nextel Cup, it provides a good opportunity for established Cup drivers to practice and get the feel of the track. Many Cup Series drivers run full Busch and Nextel Cup seasons. There are those Busch Series drivers that protest that this takes away chances from new drivers trying to get their feet wet in NASCAR events. Others argue that having Cup drivers in the Busch Series draws more spectators which is a good thing. It also means that sponsors find the Busch Series more appealing as far as sponsoring drivers go. Other Busch drivers like the added competition of racing Cup drivers.

Every race counts in the NASCAR Busch Series, with some of the races counting more than other races. O'Reilly Raceway Park is one of the most popular tracks used in the Busch Series race season. Many drivers who win at O'Reilly Raceway Park frequently end up winning the series championship. Spectators also favor O'Reilly as a Busch Series venue, as there is plenty of close contact between drivers. O'Reilly Raceway Park has a long and colorful history as a venue for short track racing.



http://www.nascar.com/ Visit our website at http://www.nascar-links.com/ for Nascar Race Schedules, NASCAR tickets and NASCAR Collectibles.

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