Second Fiddle: Around the Craftsman Truck Series · Cami Starr · Friday May 12, 2006
This year, the Busch Series celebrates its Silver Anniversary. In its 25 year history, the series currently known simply as the Busch Series has undergone many name changes. Originally known as the Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series when it began in 1982, the series has undergone many name changes through the years: Busch Late Model Sportsman, Busch Grand National, Busch Series, Grand National Division, and finally, just the Busch Series.
Along with the names have been several drivers who have come and gone through the years, experiencing the highs of success and the lows of failure. Many used the series as a stepping stone to greater things in the Cup Series, while others made their lasting mark in NASCAR’S "lower ranks" while never finding the same success elsewhere. In honor of its rich 25 year history, let’s take a look at the Busch Series by the numbers.
The number of drivers who have won both a Cup and Busch Series championship. That honor goes to Bobby Labonte, who won the Busch title in 1991 and the Cup title in 2000.
The number of times Ford and Buick won the drivers’ championship. Tommy Ellis won for Buick in 1988 and, more recently, Greg Biffle won for Ford in 2002. Pontiac has 2 titles, Oldsmobile has 6, while Chevy leads the way with 14.
3 The total number of points that kept Labonte from repeating as Busch champ in 1992. Joe Nemechek won the title with 4275 points to Labonte’s 4272.
4 The number of championships won by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (Dale Earnhardt) as a car owner in the Busch Series, the most of any other owner.
The number of times a driver has won back to back Busch Series Championships. (Martin Truex, Jr. 2004/2005, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 1998/1999, Randy LaJoie 1996/1997, Larry Pearson 1986/1987 and Sam Ard 1983/1984)
Drivers that have gone from winning Rookie of the Year in Busch to win the same honor in Cup. (Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Johnny Benson, Ricky Craven and Jeff Gordon)
The most number of wins by a Busch Series driver in their championship season. Sam Ard set the mark in 1983.
The number of the car driven by Dale Earnhardt, who won the 1982 Goody’s 300 that opened the first Busch Series season in 1982.
Number of wins by Mark Martin to top the series. The second highest mark is 21, held by his former Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton.
The number of career starts made by Jason Keller. Tommy Houston is the only other driver to reach that milestone, leading the series with 417 all-time starts.
The largest point margin a champion had over second place. In 2000, Jeff Green bested Jason Keller by that amount.
122,100 and 3,143,692
Jack Ingram won $122,100 in total winnings when he won the first Busch Series title back in 1982. Last year, Martin Truex Jr. earned $3,143,692 the year he won his second championship.
As you can see, things have changed for the Busch Series over time. One common denominator remains though: it still provides great racing and an opportunity for young drivers to gain experience on one of the best playing fields in racing. Let’s hope it’s still flourishing in another 25 years.
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