NASCAR Nationwide Series
The National Association of Stock Car Racing, commonly known to fans and sports reporters alike as NASCAR, offers an exciting schedule of racing events known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This series, formerly called the NASCAR Busch Series, is sometimes described as the training grounds for those who want to race on the NASCAR circuit.
The Nationwide Series evolved from the Sportsman Division, founded as a short race track series in 1950. After several changes in styles, modifications of rules, and the move to larger race tracks, the Series developed into its present form in 1982. After Anheuser-Busch declined to renew its NASCAR contract in 2007, Nationwide Insurance became the Series’ primary sponsor. This seven-year contract and is due to expire in the same year as NASCAR’s television broadcasting agreement with ABC/ESPN.
The series hit the international arena in 2005, when the first race was held in Mexico City, Mexico. The next international race took place in Montreal, Quebec, in 2007. NASCAR has announced no further plans for a race outside the U.S. Despite this, Series races are broadcast live in most Latin American countries. Fox Sports Latin America and SPEED Latin America provide coverage via cable and satellite television, as do Australian and Canadian television broadcasters. In the United States, however, only a few of the Series races are broadcast.
Although the Nationwide Series is primarily for drivers who are training for the more prestigious Sprint Cup Series, some drivers from the Sprint Cup Series sometimes return to the Nationwide Series to race. Some fans and sports commentators disapprove of this practice, arguing that the less experienced drivers in the Nationwide Series have less opportunity as a result.
Others maintain that the big names from the Sprint Cup Series provide a significant part of the draw to these lower-level races. These Sprint Cup drivers were once derisively called Bushwhackers, but this name has lost popularity with Nationwide’s assumption of primary sponsorship. One of these drivers was Dale Earnhardt, who was the first person ever to win a race in the Nationwide series.
Nationwide Series cars differ significantly from the Car of Tomorrow, which has been used in Sprint Cup races since 2007. These Cars of Tomorrow are larger and wider than those used in the Nationwide Series, and have set pole speeds that are slower than those cars used in races at the same tracks in the Nationwide Series.
Nationwide Cars are 100 pounds lighter than those in the Sprint Cup and feature V8 engines that are powered by unleaded gasoline. These engines average an unrestricted horsepower of 650-700hp and a restricted horsepower of approximately 450 hp. The wheelbase is 105 inches. Cars are 72.5 inches wide and 51 inches tall. Unlike their counterparts in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Cars use either slick tires or rain tires, depending on the weather. The tires are manufactured by Goodyear. Each car has power steering and manual transmission, and the fuel tank capacity is 17 ¾ gallons.
NASCAR has announced plans to introduce a Car of
Tomorrow specially designed for the Nationwide
Series in 2010. Both the design and the
aerodynamic features of the car will
be significantly different from that
of the car presently used in Sprint
Cup racing. Although the bodies
will be quite different in
appearance, the chassis used
in both cars will be identical.
Therefore, the wheelbase will
be increased from 105 inches
to 110 inches.
Nationwide Series Car
(Gamestop - Call of Duty)
The Nationwide Series has come a long way since its inception, and this newly released car will add even more excitement to the circuit. The 2010 racing year promises to be another year of NASCAR invention and innovation.
Read more about Mark Green and his teammate Kenny Wallace, both of whom race for Jay Robinson Racing.