Xfinity Series

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Category Stock cars
Country United States
Inaugural season 1982
Manufacturers Chevrolet · Ford · Toyota · Dodge
Tire suppliers Goodyear
Drivers' champion Chris Buescher
Teams' champion Team Penske
Makes' champion Chevrolet
Official website Xfinity Series
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. It is promoted as NASCAR's "minor league" circuit, and is considered a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organization's top level circuit, the Sprint Cup Series. Xfinity 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 Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series in 1982 and 1983, the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series from 1984 through 2003, the NASCAR Busch Series from 2004 through 2007, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 2008 through 2014.[1][2]


The Busch Series field following the pace car at Texas in April 2007.

The series emerged from NASCAR's Sportsman division, which had been 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.[3] 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.

NASCAR Busch Series logo from 2004 to 2007
File:Nationwide Series.svg
NASCAR Nationwide Series logo from 2008 to 2014

The modern-day Xfinity 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, and the series was renamed to the Nationwide Series.[4]

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

On September 3, 2014, it was announced that Comcast will sponsor the series for ten years under their Xfinity branding and be known from the 2015 season on as the Xfinity Series, equal to the ten-year broadcast agreement for their NBC and NBCSN networks to broadcast NASCAR races.[6]

Races held outside of the USA

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 in the past. It 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 in 2009, and in 2012 they announced that it would not be returning to Montreal in 2013.

Television broadcasting

United States

Until 2000, the Busch Grand National Series was carried on a number of both cable and broadcast networks that had deals with the series tracks. Most standalone races were aired on TNN, while races that were companion races with Winston Cup dates aired on the network airing the Cup race. TNN aired some of these races, which also aired on CBS, NBC, ESPN, ABC and TBS.

From 2001 until 2006, Fox Sports covered the entire first half of the Busch Grand National season, while NBC and TNT both aired races during the second half, with Turner Sports producing all the coverage for both networks. However, in even numbered years, coverage was changed, with the opening race at Daytona airing on NBC in 2004, on TNT in 2002 and 2006 and the track's July race airing on Fox. Large portions of Fox's coverage aired on sister network FX, with a few marquee events on the network itself.

From 2007 until 2014, ESPN was the home of the renamed Nationwide Series. Generally four races per season aired on ABC, with the remainder on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNews. Early in ESPN's run, ESPN Classic was used for NNS overflow, however with less carriage of that network, this practice ended. Fox Sports did make a return to the series, airing the 2011 Bubba Burger 250 at Richmond on Speed Channel, due to ESPN giving up its exclusive rights to the race because of programming conflicts.

In 2015, the Xfinity Series returned to FOX Sports during the first half of the season. Like the previous time Fox held rights to the series, most of the coverage aired on cable, though this time it aired on Fox Sports 1. Four races will air on Fox itself. The second half of the Xfinity Series season will be televised by NBC Sports. Four races will air on NBC itself, while the others will air on NBCSN.

Latin America

The Xfinity Series is available in most Latin American countries on cable and satellite TV. Since 2006, Fox Sports 3 (formerly called SPEED until 2013) 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.


Network Ten's additional high-definition service, ONE, began broadcasting races from the Xfinity Series live or near live during the 2008 season. ONE continued to air highlights packages of each race until the end of 2014. Broadcasts of the series are now exclusively shown on the Fox Sports pay TV channels.


All races are live on TSN channels using FOX's or NBC's coverage. Also, races are broadcast on RDS or RDS2 in French using the world feed produced by NASCAR.


Since 2012, Motors TV broadcasts all Xfinity races live, delayed and highlights.

Sprint Cup drivers in the Xfinity Series

2009 Nationwide Series car of Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch, who won the Nationwide Series championship that year

Since the early days of the Xfinity Series, many Sprint Cup drivers have used their days off to drive in the Xfinity 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 Dale Earnhardt, who won the very first Xfinity Series race, and Kyle Busch, who has won the most races in Xfinity Series history.

In recent years, this practice had been dubbed "Buschwhacking" by its detractors. The colloquialism originated when Anheuser-Busch was the main sponsor of the series by combining the name "Busch" with the term "bushwhacker," but it has gradually fallen out of use since Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship ended. When Nationwide became the series sponsor, the insurance-related phrase "claim jumper" was sometimes used to describe the practice.

Critics claim that Sprint Cup drivers racing in the Xfinity Series takes away opportunities from the Xfinity 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 on their own races, the XFINITY Series would be inadequate as a high-tier division. In addition, many XFINITY Series drivers have welcomed the Cup drivers because it gives them the opportunity to drive with more seasoned veterans.[7]

In 2007, the Sprint Cup Series began racing with the Car of Tomorrow, a radically new specification different from the Xfinity Series. Sprint Cup drivers have admitted that driving the Xfinity car the day before the race does little to help with the Sprint Cup race, as the cars differ greatly. This loosely resulted in the new Nationwide Series car making its debut in the 2010 Subway Jalapeño 250 at Daytona International Speedway. This car has a set-up closer to the current Cup car and some Cup drivers who have tested the car say it has similar handling characteristics. The new car has gone full-time since the 2011 season. 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 2007. 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 Xfinity regulars to reach the top ten in points. However, the champions from 2006 to 2010 were all Cup regulars driving the full series schedule (Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski). As a result, beginning with the 2011 season, NASCAR implemented a rule stating that drivers could only compete for the drivers' championship in one of three national series (Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck) of the drivers' choosing.

Xfinity Series cars

Comparison with a Sprint Cup Car

With the advent of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow, Xfinity 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, and a less powerful engine. In the past, XFINITY 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 1980s, teams were switching from the General Motors 1971–77 X-Body compact cars with 311-cubic inch engines. Later, teams were using General Motors 1982–87 G-body cars. Ford teams have 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 front splitter opposed to a front valance. The Car of Tomorrow has also been setting pole speeds slower than the Nationwide Series cars at companion races.[8]

Previously, Xfinity Series cars used fuel that contained lead. NASCAR conducted a three-race test of unleaded fuel in this series that began on July 29, 2006, with a 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 rain tires in races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since the races 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 in the rain.[9]

A new distinction was added in 2012 when NASCAR changed the fuel delivery system in Cup cars from carburetion to fuel injection. Xfinity Series cars continue to use a carburetor.


NASCAR officials are using a template to inspect Casey Atwood's 2004 Busch Series car
  • Chassis: Steel tube frame with safety roll cage, must be NASCAR standards
  • Engine displacement: 5,800 cc (5.8 L; 353.9 cu in) Pushrod V8
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual
  • Weight: 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) minimum (without driver); 3,400 lb (1,542 kg) minimum (with driver)
  • Power output: 650–700 hp (485–522 kw) unrestricted, ≈450 hp (335 kW) restricted
  • Torque: 700 N·m (520 ft·lb)
  • Fuel: 98 octane unleaded gasoline provided by Sunoco
  • Fuel capacity: 18 US gal (68 L)
  • Fuel delivery: Carburetion
  • Compression ratio: 12:1
  • Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
  • Carburetor size: 390 ft³/min (184 L/s) 4 barrel
  • Wheelbase: 105 in (2,667 mm)
  • Steering: Power, recirculating ball
  • Tires: Slick tires and rain tires provided by Goodyear
  • Length: 203.75 in (5,175 mm)
  • Width: 75 in (1,905 mm)
  • Height: 51 in (1,295 mm)
  • Safety equipment: HANS device, seat belt 6-point supplied by Willans

Nationwide "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT)

2010 Nationwide Car of Tomorrow.

The then NASCAR Nationwide Series unveiled its "Car of Tomorrow" (CoT) at the July 2010 race at Daytona International Speedway. Before being fully integrated in the 2011 season, it was also used in 2010 races at Michigan International Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.[10] The Nationwide CoT has important differences from the Sprint Cup CoT, and the now-retired Generation 4 style car. The body and aerodynamic package is different than the Sprint Cup Series cars, marketing American pony cars such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro.[11] The Nationwide CoT shares its chassis with the Sprint Cup CoT, but has an extended wheelbase of 110 inches (2794 millimeters).

Each manufacturer uses a distinct body design, built within strict aerodynamic guidelines provided by NASCAR. The Chevrolet car body currently resembles the Camaro, after initially running the Impala. Dodge (which pulled all factory support after 2012) utilizes the Challenger model. Ford uses the Mustang. Toyota runs the Camry, reconfigured in 2015 to resemble the current production model.[12]

Manufacturer representation

Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series (1982–1983)

General Motors

Busch Grand National Series (1984–2003)

General Motors

Busch Series (2004–2007)

General Motors

Nationwide Series (2008–2014)

General Motors

Xfinity Series (2015–present)

General Motors

Xfinity Series Champions

Nationwide Series Champions

Carl Edwards celebrating his 2007 Busch Series championship

Busch Series Champions

Busch Series Grand National Division Champions

Busch Grand National Series Champions

Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Champions

Late Model Sportsman Division Champions

Sportsman Division Champions

Rookie of the Year Award winners

All-time win table

All figures correct as of the 2015 Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 21, 2015).[13]

     Indicates driver is competing part-time in the 2015 season.
     Indicates driver is competing full-time in the 2015 season.
     Indicates driver has been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Kyle Busch 76
Mark Martin 49
Kevin Harvick 46
Carl Edwards 38
Brad Keselowski 33
Jack Ingram 31
Matt Kenseth 29
Jeff Burton 27
Joey Logano 25
Tommy Houston 24
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 23
Sam Ard 22
Tommy Ellis 22
Dale Earnhardt 21
Harry Gant 21
Greg Biffle 20
Jeff Green 16
Joe Nemechek 16
Todd Bodine 15
Randy Lajoie 15
Larry Pearson 15
Morgan Shepherd 15
Denny Hamlin 14
Martin Truex, Jr. 13
Darrell Waltrip 13
Jimmy Spencer 12
Chuck Bown 11
Steve Grissom 11
Dale Jarrett 11
Terry Labonte 11
Tony Stewart 11
Michael Waltrip 11
Jason Keller 10
Bobby Labonte 10
Robert Pressley 10
Elliott Sadler 10
David Green 9
Jimmy Hensley 9
Rick Mast 9
Kenny Wallace 9
Clint Bowyer 8
Kasey Kahne 8
Jamie McMurray 8
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 8
Ryan Newman 7
Geoff Bodine 6
Austin Dillon 6
Butch Lindley 6
Chad Little 6
Mike McLaughlin 6
Rob Moroso 6
Regan Smith 6
Scott Wimmer 6
Marcos Ambrose 5
Brett Bodine 5
Kurt Busch 5
Jeff Gordon 5
Bobby Hamilton, Jr. 5
Ryan Blaney 4
Ward Burton 4
Ricky Craven 4
Chase Elliott 4
Tim Fedewa 4
Ron Fellows 4
Ron Hornaday, Jr. 4
Jeff Purvis 4
Scott Riggs 4
Reed Sorenson 4
Mike Wallace 4
Justin Allgaier 3
Johnny Benson 3
Chris Buescher 3
Sam Hornish, Jr. 3
Ernie Irvan 3
Kyle Larson 3
Paul Menard 3
L. D. Ottinger 3
Steve Park 3
Johnny Sauter 3
Brian Vickers 3
Mike Alexander 2
Bobby Allison 2
A. J. Allmendinger 2
Casey Atwood 2
Trevor Bayne 2
Mike Bliss 2
Ron Bouchard 2
Brendan Gaughan 2
Bobby Hillin 2
Buckshot Jones 2
Erik Jones 2
Jason Leffler 2
Kevin Lepage 2
Sterling Marlin 2
Butch Miller 2
Hank Parker, Jr. 2
Phil Parsons 2
David Ragan 2
Tim Richmond 2
Johnny Rumley 2
Hermie Sadler 2
Elton Sawyer 2
Ken Schrader 2
Dennis Setzer 2
Ronnie Silver 2
Dick Trickle 2
Rick Wilson 2
Aric Almirola 1
Jamie Aube 1
Ed Berrier 1
Joe Bessey 1
Dave Blaney 1
Neil Bonnett 1
James Buescher 1
Ronald Cooper 1
Derrike Cope 1
Ty Dillon 1
Bobby Dotter 1
Bill Elliott 1
Jeff Fuller 1
David Gilliland 1
Robby Gordon 1
Bobby Hamilton 1
Jimmie Johnson 1
Justin Labonte 1
Stephen Leicht 1
Tracy Leslie 1
Dick McCabe 1
Casey Mears 1
Juan Pablo Montoya 1
David Pearson 1
Nelson Piquet, Jr. 1
Larry Pollard 1
Ryan Reed 1
David Reutimann 1
Ricky Rudd 1
Joe Ruttman 1
Greg Sacks 1
Boris Said 1
Andy Santerre 1
John Settlemyre 1
Mike Skinner 1
Jack Sprague 1
Brad Teague 1

List of manufacturers' championship winners

Year Manufacturer
1982 Pontiac
1983 Oldsmobile
1984 Pontiac
1987 Chevrolet
1988 Buick
1991 Oldsmobile
1992 Chevrolet
1995 Ford
1996 Chevrolet
2002 Ford
2003 Chevrolet
2008 Toyota
2011 Ford
2012 Chevrolet
2013 Ford
2014 Chevrolet

See also


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  3. The Busch Series dilemma
  4. Nationwide Insurance to be sponsor of No. 2 Series
  5. NASCAR Scene, October 11, 2007, Vol. XXXI — No. 24, p. 32.
  6. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  7. "The Dangers of Bushwhacking" Retrieved May 23, 2009
  8. NEXTEL Cup race with pole speed listed Busch Series race with pole speed listed
  9. "NASCAR races in the rain in Montreal". Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  10. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
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External links