Nationwide Series: Wikis

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Nationwide Series
Logo-nascar-nationwide.jpg
Category Stock car racing
Country or region  United States
 Canada
Inaugural season 1982
Teams 40
Constructors United States Chevrolet
United States Dodge
United States Ford
Japan Toyota
Last Drivers' champion Kyle Busch
Last Teams' champion Joe Gibbs Racing
Last Makes' champion Toyota
Official website NASCAR.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing. It is promoted as NASCAR's "minor league" circuit (often compared to Triple-A baseball), and is a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organization's "big league" circuit, the Sprint Cup. Nationwide Series races are frequently held in the same venue as, and a day prior to, the Sprint Cup race scheduled for that weekend, encouraging fans to attend both events.

The series was previously called the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. In December 2006, NASCAR officials confirmed that Anheuser-Busch, parent company for Busch Beer, would not renew its sponsorship of NASCAR's No. 2 series after the end of the 2007 Season. On October 3, 2007, it was announced Nationwide Insurance would become the title sponsor beginning with the 2008 season.

Contents

History

The N'wide Series field following the pace car at Texas in April 2007.

The series emerged from NASCAR's old Sportsman division, which was formed in 1950 as NASCAR's short track race division. It was NASCAR's fourth series (after the Modified and Roadster series in 1948 and Strictly Stock in 1949). The sportsman cars were not current model cars, and could be modified more (but not as much as Modified series cars).[1] It became the Late Model Sportsman series in 1968, and soon featured races on larger tracks, such as Daytona International Speedway. Drivers used obsolete Grand National (now Sprint Cup) cars on larger tracks, but by the inception of the touring format in 1982, the series used older compact cars. Short track cars with relatively small 300 cubic inch V-8 motors were used. Drivers used smaller current year models featuring V6 motors.

logo of Busch Series

The modern-day Nationwide Series was formed in 1982, when Anheuser-Busch sponsored a newly reformed late-model sportsman series with its Budweiser brand. The series switched sponsorship to Busch in 1984. It was renamed in 1986 to the Busch Grand National Series.

Grand National was dropped from the series' title in 2003 as part of NASCAR's brand identity (the Grand National name was now used for the Busch East and Winston West series as part of a nationwide standardization of rules for NASCAR's regional racing). Following the 2007 season, Anheuser-Busch, makers of the Busch brand of beer, said they would not renew their contract with NASCAR. In 2008 Nationwide Insurance became the title sponsor of the "NASCAR Nationwide Series".[2]

The Nationwide insurance company sponsorship is a seven-year contract, which coincides with NASCAR's current broadcast contract with ABC/ESPN. The Nationwide sponsorship does not include the banking and mortgage departments of Nationwide. The sponsorship reportedly carried a $10 million commitment for 2008, with 6% annual escalations thereafter[3]. In addition to the direct cost of sponsorship, Nationwide has made an additional commitment of between $4 million and $5 million in advertisement buys on ESPN.

International markets

On March 6, 2005, the Series held its first race outside the United States, the Telcel-Motorola 200. The race was held in Mexico City, Mexico at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, a track that has held Formula One and Champ Car races, and was won by Martin Truex Jr. On August 4, 2007, the Series held its second race outside of the United States, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, another road course. It was won by Kevin Harvick, while Quebec native Patrick Carpentier finished second. In July 2008, Nascar announced that the Nationwide Series, would not return to Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2009.

Television broadcasting

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United States

Since 2007, ESPN2 as well as ABC and ESPN have been the exclusive carrier of all Nationwide Series races, replacing Fox, FX, TNT and NBC. Some sponsors have criticized the new television deal, noting only six races will appear on broadcast network television (through a branding deal on ABC); in recent years, as many as ten races in the Nationwide Series have aired on network television. Most of the races on ABC were chosen so ESPN2 could air major sporting events.

Latin America

The Nationwide Series is available in most Latin American countries on cable and satellite TV. Since 2006, 'SPEED Latin America' carries live coverage of all events. The races are also shown on Fox Sports Latin America, some of them live and some tape-delayed depending on the network's schedule.

Televisa Deportes also broadcasts a 30-minute recap every Sunday morning on national television in Mexico.

Australia

Network Ten's additional high-definition service, ONE, will be broadcasting races from the Nationwide Series live or near live starting from the 2008 season. Previously, broadcasts of the series were carried on the Fox Sports pay TV channel. The Nationwide Series carries a particular interest for Australian viewers with driver Marcos Ambrose being the only Australian driver currently competing in any of NASCAR's top three divisions.

Canada

All races are live on TSN HD or TSN2 HD using ESPN's coverage. Races that are aired on TSN2 are usually re aired on TSN late night after the race.

Buschwhackers

Since the early days of the Nationwide Series, many Sprint Cup drivers have used their days off to drive in the Nationwide Series. This can be for any number of reasons, most prominent or often claimed is to gain more "seat time", or to familiarize themselves with the track. Examples of this would be the first ever winner of a Nationwide Series race, Dale Earnhardt, and the winner of the most races in Nationwide Series history, Mark Martin.

In recent years, this practice had been termed "Buschwhacking" by those who criticize it. The colloquialism originated from the words "Busch" and "bushwhacker" during the days when Anheuser-Busch was the main sponsor of the series but it has gradually fallen out of use since Nationwide took over as title sponsor (the term, "Claim Jumpers", referring to Nationwide's insurance business, was suggested, but quickly died out).

Critics claim that Sprint Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series takes away opportunities from the Nationwide Series regulars - usually younger and less experienced drivers. On the other hand, many fans claim that without the Sprint Cup stars and the large amount of fan interest they attract, the Nationwide Series would be inadequate as a high-tier division. Many Nationwide Series drivers, however, have welcomed the Cup drivers because it gives them the opportunity to drive with more seasoned veterans.[4]

In 2007, the Sprint Cup Series began racing with the Car of Tomorrow, a radically new specification different from the Nationwide Series. Thus far, this has not changed things much. In 2007, six out of the top ten drivers in the final point standings were Cup regulars, with Jason Leffler being the only non-Cup driver in that group to win a race in '07. This number decreased from 2006 when 8 out of 10 drivers were Cup regulars. The decreased number is attributed to Cup regulars running only partial schedules, allowing for more Nationwide regulars to reach the top ten in points. However, the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 champions were all Cup regulars driving the full series schedule (Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, and Kyle Busch).

Nationwide Series cars

Comparison with a Sprint Cup Car

With the advent of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow, Nationwide Series cars have become very different from their Sprint Cup Series counterparts, the main differences being a slightly shorter wheelbase (105" instead of 110"), 100 pounds less weight, a spoiler instead of a wing, and a less powerful engine. In the past, Nationwide Series competitors could use makes of cars not used in the Cup series, as well as V-6 engines instead of Cup's V-8s.

In the early '80s, teams were switching from the General Motors 1971-77 X-Body compact cars, with a 311-cubic inch engines. Later, teams were using General Motors 1982-87 G-body cars. Ford teams used the Thunderbird cars consistently.

In 1989, NASCAR changed rules requiring cars to use current body styles, similar to the Sprint Cup cars. However, the cars still used V6 engines. The cars gradually changed to cars similar to Cup cars.

In 1995, changes were made. The series switched to V-8s with a compression ratio of 9:1 (as opposed to 14:1 for Cup at the time). The vehicle weight with driver was set at 3,300 pounds (as opposed to 3,400 for Cup). The body style changes, as well as the introduction of V-8s, made the two series' cars increasingly similar.

The suspensions, brake systems, transmissions, are identical between each series. The Car of Tomorrow does eliminate some of these similarities. The Car of Tomorrow is taller and wider than the current generation vehicles in the Nationwide Series and utilizes a rear wing and front splitter opposed to a rear spoiler and front valance. The Car of Tomorrow has also been setting pole speeds slower than the Nationwide Series cars at companion races.[5]

Previously, Nationwide Series cars used fuel that contained lead. NASCAR conducted a three-race test of unleaded fuel in this series that began with the July 29, 2006 race at Gateway International Raceway. The fuel, Sunoco GT 260 Unleaded, became mandatory in all series starting with the second weekend of the 2007 series, as Daytona was the last race weekend with leaded fuel.

Another distinction between the cars became clear in 2008. NASCAR had developed rain tires for road course racing in both series, but never had to use them in race conditions. The program was abandoned by the Sprint Cup Series in 2005, but the Nationwide Series continued to use tires as races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could not be planned with rain dates. When rain started to fall at the 2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200, the tires were given their first laps under race conditions.[6]

Specifications

NASCAR officials are using a template to inspect Casey Atwood's 2004 Nationwide Series car, courtesy of the U.S. Navy

Nationwide "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT)

2010 Nationwide Car of Tomorrow

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will unveil it's "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) at the July 2010 race at Daytona International Speedway. Before being fully integrated in the 2011 season it will be used in 2010 races at Michigan, Richmond and Charlotte Motor Speedway.[7] The body and aerodynamic package will be different than the Sprint Cup Series cars.[8] The Nationwide CoT will have important differences from the Sprint Cup CoT, and the current Nationwide car. The Nationwide CoT will share a chassis with the Sprint Cup CoT, but not the body because it's wheelbase will be extended to 110 inches (2794 millimeters).

The body will also have differences between each manufacturer, but still within strict aerodynamic guidelines provided by NASCAR. The Chevrolet car body will resemble the Impala, the Dodge body the Challenger, the Ford body the Mustang and the Toyota body the Camry.[9]

Manufacturer representation

Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (1982-1983)

Chrysler
Ford
General Motors

Busch Grand National Series (1984-2003)

Chrysler
Ford
General Motors

Busch Series (2004-2007)

Chrysler
Ford
General Motors
Toyota

Nationwide Series (2008-Present)

Chrysler
Ford
General Motors
Toyota

Past champions

Nationwide Series Champions

Busch Series Champions

Carl Edwards celebrating his 2007 Busch Series championship

Busch Grand National Series Champions

Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Champions

Late Model Sportsman Division Champions

Sportsman Division Champions

Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Award winners

Nationwide Series All-Time Winners

See also

External links

References


Simple English

Redirecting to NASCAR


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