The NASCAR Busch Series
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 cars which differ from those 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.
In the NASCAR Busch Series, every race counts, but it seems that some may count more than others. One of the most famous racing tracks used in the Busch Series is O’Reilly Raceway Park. Drivers who win the race at the O’Reilly Raceway Park frequently go on to become Busch Series champions. The O’Reilly Raceway Park event is a favourite with spectators as it involves a lot of close contact between the NASCAR vehicles, and also because of its long history as a centre for short track racing.