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The NASCAR Championships

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

The NASCAR Championships

Chris DiCicco
November 3, 2007

NASCAR is a competition and has its own set of championship series just as the World Series in Major League Baseball or the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the National Hockey League. Probably the most famous NASCAR championship series is the NEXTEL Cup Series. Note that the Cup Series will become the Sprint Cup Series because of the merger of the Sprint Corporation and NEXTEL Communications.

The history of the NEXTEL Cup Series began as the Strictly Stock Series in 1949, the Grand National Series between 1950 and 1971, and the Winston Cup Series between 1972 and 2003. Innovators of the NEXTEL Cup Series have made it so that drivers can score more points and even get 5 bonus points any time they take the lead for even one lap. And the lowest spot in the race result gets at least 34 points.

This model results in much more competition to the very end plus makes NASCAR more competitive with the National Football League in numbers of television viewers watching the racing sport. The series has also consists of a competitive series in the last 10 races known as “The Chase.” This is where the top drivers are selected based on accumulated points (those tied for a position too) after 26 races. There are many winners in this series. The champion gets $5 million and the others finishing in the top 10 positions each get $1 million. There is even something for the 11th place driver: a $250,000 bonus. All this is designed to keep competition and excitement at a high level throughout the season.

Craftsman Truck Series is another one of the NASCAR championships with racing trucks designed from modified pickup trucks. The season runs from February through November. The beginning race is the Chevy Silverado HD 250 run at the Daytona International Speedway. The trucks run without restrictor plates to limit max speed like the NASCAR NEXTEL and Busch Series however because trucks are not as aerodynamic, they cannot reach the speeds the cars do.

The Busch Series is another of the championships and it is equivalent to the minor leagues of NASCAR racing. However, unless you are an expert, you cannot easily spot the differences between Busch Series competition and NEXTEL competition. The difference is in the cars. The cars of the Busch Series have a shorter wheel base (105 inches as opposed to 100 inches) and the spoiler is larger too. At the end of the 2007 season, Busch has announced that it will no longer sponsor the Busch Series and now other sponsors like Wal-Mart and Subway Sandwiches are trying to win a spot as the event’s primary promoter.

And then there is the championship among the auto makers known as the NASCAR Manufacturer’s Championship. This championship has been held ever since 1949 and it works by points being awarded to the different automobile manufacturers represented in each race. The auto manufacturer at the end of the season with the most points wins. Chevrolet won this NASCAR championship in 2006.

Chris DiCicco owner of www.nascarsupershop.com is also the senior editor and website developer for his store. 1000’s of collectibles including Nascar Figures and Racing Flags at great prices everyday!



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