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NASCAR was a drinker and a smoker for decades until it gave up the cigs in 2003, trading Winstons for Nextel as title sponsor of its premier race series. Now it gives up beer with the Busch Series changing its name next season.

Beginning in 2008, Anheuser-Busch will relinquish its title sponsorship of the Busch Series to Nationwide Insurance. No financial terms were released by either NASCAR or Nationwide, but the 7-year-deal is rumored to be similar to the beermaker's at about $10 million per. The second-tier race series will be known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning with the Daytona race February 16.

And don't forget that the Nextel Cup will become the Sprint Cup in 2008. Looks like lots of new t-shirts and bumper stickers to buy.

[Sources: AdAge, NASCAR]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish there was a series that, with the exception of roll cages, safety belts an racing tires, featured production cars. I'm not talking about carbon fiber body panels, massively massaged engines and brake systems like in the Speed Challenge cars (which are the equivalent of what NASCAR was 30 years ago- minus the carbon fiber). Let's see truly stock cars whose only performance mods are those available over the factory parts counter. That would be interesting to watch.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I Couldnt Agree more. Except for the fact that most manufacturers dont have decent RWD cars. Whod want to see a FWD Impala udersteering its way around a circle at 112mph, next to a camry, avenger, fusion. No thanks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am still confused. I never found a Winston Cup in any store that carries cups, I have yet to find a Nextel Cup in any stores, and now they want to change the name of the Busch Series. So what is a Busch Series? I have found bushes, and if you plant them one after another you wind of with a series of bushes. Life is hard and getting harder.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Don't you mean Life Comes at You Fast(tm)?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who watches NASCAR anymore? Their ratings are going down >20% per year.

      When they start racing actual production based cars again I'll watch. Racing is about the cars not the drivers personalities. Until then.......
        • 7 Years Ago
        How do I suggest they fix NASCAR? Like I said, running production cars. So company A doesn't have a RWD V8 powered car. Well, MAKE ONE! GM is coming out with the G8 and eventually a RWD impala. Dodge has the Charger. Ford has the Crown Victoria (ha, ha, ha...couldn't resist). Toyota has...the Camry? Uh..no!

        To make things even better they should race Pony cars. Camaro vs. Mustang vs. Challenger. All dimensions including suspension, engine, tranny, weight and aerodynamics must be identical to the production car. You have to sell 500 units of the vehicle in order to race it.

        Anybody remember the Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Charger Daytona? Those cars are worth over 100k today.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dude, I can understand what you are saying, but I do not think that is practical. What you are suggesting is that manufacturers, with the exception of the ImpalaCharger, create or switch to a RWD platform just for NASCAR? Even if that happens, then the car with the best aero package will win most of the time. Do you think that auto manufacturers are willing to design cars based on how well they will do in NASCAR? I doubt it. Unlike F1, this is not actually auto manufacturers competing against one another, they all just pretend it is, when it is actually Hendrick vs. Gibbs vs. DEI etc., so I doubt any of the manufacturers will tinker with their midsize sedans for NASCAR's sake.

        One one level, your idea of racing pony cars, is super exciting. But on a practical level, I don't think the stock enginestransmissionssuspension would be able to handle NASCAR. The current cars easily pull 9000+ RPM, and keep that going for 400-600 miles? I doubt it. Besides, the suspensions could not handle the banked tracks anyway. Even you tried very hard and made thousands of little adjustments here and there, you would still end up with something like IROC. The now practically defunct IROC.

        So while we can't go back to an earlier golden age, what we have now is not too bad actually.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh yes, the same asinine comment in every post that relates to NASCAR.

        When you say production based cars racing one another, do you honestly mean you want FWD Fusion, Impala, and Camry to race against one another? Using stock enginestransmissions? Or stock bodies, which are just shells, over racing platform?

        Please, someone, elobrate on what "racing actual production based cars" means.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It could be worse I suppose -

      The NASCAR Vagisil Series...
      The NASCAR GoldBond Powder Series...
      Or perhaps you'd like to run in the NASCAR Cialis Series.

      One Rumor I do like about NASCAR is the running of the muscle cars. The modern Mustangs, Challengers, and Camaros supposedly running in the "busch" leagues in 2009/10. If they really are different cars, instead of the same car wearing different stickers, I'd watch that.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think they're loosing viewership cause no one wants to sit and watch Hendrick, Roush, or Gibbs win it week in and out. The terrible turn for nascar occured when it basically became unfeasable for a single car team to succeed. Now you have 3,4, or 5 car teams. TEAMS? This is racing, not basketball. It should be straight up- every man for himself, every car for it's self. No team mates, no shared testing info, no shared setups, or shared shops. One car per owner. Period.

        Of course that'll never happen, but it is why Nascar sucks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Would be nice if they were actually different cars, but no such luck. Word is that they will be based on the older NASCAR Nextel Cup chassis (Car of Yesterday?) There will also be an unnamed Toyota "muscle car."

        I haven't watched "stock" car racing since the early 80's, when the cars at least appeared to be real. NASCAR has completely lost their way, and I don't think they have a clue why they are losing viewership.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You can say NASCAR is dying or losing viewership; but NASCAR is sucking almost every star driver from every other North American motorsports around. Open-wheel in North America is dead, not because people don't like it; but because the people running it are terrible managers and promoter. Even the F1 drivers are coming over, call them reject or whatnot, the point is drivers want a challenge and want to race and what better way to do that then to run 36 races and have car very competitive to each other. Oh yeah they pay pretty well over there in NASCAR also.

      If you don't like it that is fine; but NASCAR is growing and the only fear I have is they will start to leave what made them great in the first place, which they are doing alittle; but nothing like what F1 and Cart/IRL have or is doing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      NASCAR's still around??
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