The NASCAR Busch Series
The NASCAR Busch series is a second division stock car racing event run by NASCAR. It is often seen as a good training event for drivers hoping to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Like the cup series, it started out in 1950, when it was initially known as the Sportsman series, structured around short track races. Brewing company Anheuser-Busch, who make beers such as Busch, Budweiser and Michelob, took over sponsorship of the race in 1984. Two years later it was officially renamed the Busch Grand National Series, and since 2003 it has been known simply as the NASCAR Busch Series.
The cars that run in the NASCAR Busch Series differ from the cars that run in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in several ways. To cope with the tighter curves on the short tracks they are smaller in size. They also have larger spoilers for increased down force. Lastly, the fuel they use is leaded. As concern has been expressed over environmental issues, NASCAR is currently looking into the feasibility of burning unleaded fueld in the Busch Series and researching how this will affect the performance of the cars. NASCAR has design teams that work all year to make improvements to the cars which compete in the Busch Series. They also rely on important feedback from the race crews and team owners over the course of the season. NASCAR's plans to make major changes to the Busch Series cars have been approved by the various manufacturers. This is an example of how NASCAR itself has evolved since it's earlier years where spectators living in a country short of new cars, did not like watching perfectly good automobiles getting banged up in races. Instead, modified older cars were used.
Whilst the Busch Series appeals to NASCAR drivers who are trying to become good enough to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, it also provides a good opportunity for established Cup Series drivers to practice. Many Cup Series drivers participate in Busch Series races in order to become more familiar with its challenging driving requirements. Some less experienced NASCAR drivers have protested that this takes away opportunities from new drivers trying to break into NASCAR events, but others argue that the presence of established NASCAR drivers, as celebrities who appeal to spectators, attracts more attention and thus more sponsorship money to the Busch Series.
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.
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