|Manufacturers||Chevrolet · Ford · Toyota|
|Drivers' champion||Tyler Reddick|
|Teams' champion||Richard Childress Racing|
|Official website||Xfinity Series|
The NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) is a stock car racing series organized by NASCAR. 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 NASCAR Cup Series. NXS events are frequently held as a support race on the day prior to a Cup Series event scheduled for that weekend.
The series was previously called the Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series in 1982 and 1983, the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series from 1984 through 2002, the NASCAR Busch Series from 2003 through 2007, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 2008 through 2014. It is currently sponsored by Comcast via its consumer cable brand Xfinity.
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 Series in 1949). The sportsman cars were not current model cars and could be modified more, but not as much as Modified series cars. 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 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.
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). Anheuser-Busch dropped the sponsorship in 2007; Nationwide Insurance took over the sponsorship for the 2008 season, renaming it the Nationwide Series. The Nationwide sponsorship was a seven-year contract, and 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.
On September 3, 2014, it was announced that Comcast would become the new title sponsor of the series via its cable television and internet brand Xfinity, renaming it the Xfinity Series. In 2016, NASCAR implemented a seven-race Chase system similar to the one used in the NASCAR Cup Series.
On August 21, 2019, NASCAR announced that the field size of the NXS will be cut from 38 to 36
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 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.
In 2016, the NXS and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series adopted a playoff format similar to the NASCAR Cup Series Chase for the Championship. Unlike the NASCAR Cup Series, whose Chase consists of four rounds, the Xfinity Series and Truck Series both use a three-round format. After each of the first two rounds, the four Chase grid drivers with the fewest season points are eliminated from the grid and Chase contention. The best-placed driver overall from the four Dash 4 Cash races advances to the Chase.
In the 1980s, races were sparsely shown, mainly by ESPN if they were covering the cup race at the same track. Starting in 1990, more races began to be shown. By the mid-1990s, all races were shown. Most standalone races were aired on TNN, which helped grow coverage of the series, while races that were companion races with Winston Cup dates mostly 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 (due to NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics) and the track's July race airing on FX. 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 NXS 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 aired on Fox itself until 2019, when all races moved to FS1. The second half of the NXS season will be televised by NBC Sports. Four races (five in 2020) will air on NBC itself, while the others will air on NBCSN, or during the Olympics, CNBC or USA Network.
The NXS 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 broadcast a 30-minute recap every Sunday morning on national television in Mexico. In Brazil Fox Sports 2 carries all three series.
Network Ten's additional high-definition service, ONE, began broadcasting races from the NXS 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.
In 2012, Motors TV broadcasts all Xfinity races live, delayed and highlights, until 2018 when the channel ceased operations.
The Portuguese channel, Sport TV broadcasts every Xfinity races live.
Since the early days of the Xfinity Series, many NASCAR Cup Series drivers have used their days off to drive in the NXS. 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 NXS race, and Kyle Busch, who has won the most races in NXS 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. Other nicknames, such as Claim Jumper (for when Nationwide was the series sponsor), and Signal Pirate (for the current sponsor Xfinity) have never really caught on.
Critics claim that NASCAR Cup Series drivers racing in the NXS take away opportunities from the NXS regulars, usually younger and less experienced drivers. On the other hand, many fans claim that without the NASCAR Cup Series stars and the large amount of fan interest they attract on their own races, the NXS would be inadequate as a high-tier division. In addition, many NXS drivers have welcomed the Cup drivers because it gives them the opportunity to drive with more seasoned veterans.
In 2007, the NASCAR Cup Series began racing with the Car of Tomorrow, a radically new specification different from the NXS. NASCAR Cup Series drivers have admitted that driving the Xfinity car the day before the race does little to help with the NASCAR Cup Series 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 NXS 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 (Cup Series, Xfinity, and Truck) of the drivers' choosing.
On October 26, 2016, NASCAR announced plans to limit Cup participation in the lower series starting in 2017. Cup drivers who were competing for points in the Cup Series with at least five years of experience in the series would be allowed to compete in up to ten NXS races, but are banned from racing in the series' regular season finale, Chase, and Dash 4 Cash races.
With the advent of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow, NXS cars have become very different from their NASCAR 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, NXS 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 Cup cars. However, the cars still used V6 engines. The cars gradually became 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, were identical between the two series, but The Car of Tomorrow eliminates some of these commonalities. The Car of Tomorrow is taller and wider than the current generation vehicles in the Nationwide Series, and it utilizes a front "splitter", opposed to a front valance. The Car of Tomorrow has also been setting pole speeds slower than the NXS cars at companion races.
Previously, Busch Series cars used fuel that contained lead. NASCAR conducted a three-race test of unleaded gasoline 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, with Daytona being the last race weekend using leaded gasoline.
Another distinction between the cars started in 2008: Goodyear had developed a rain tire for NASCAR road course racing in both series but NASCAR never used them under race conditions. The program was abandoned by the NASCAR Cup Series in 2005, but the Busch 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 used in the rain for the first time.
Another distinction was added in 2012, when NASCAR changed the fuel delivery system in the Cup cars from carburetion to fuel injection. NXS cars continue to use carburetors.
The then 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. The Xfinity CoT has important differences from the NASCAR Cup Series CoT, and the now-retired Generation 4 style car. The body and aerodynamic package differs from the NASCAR Cup Series cars, marketing American pony cars from the 1960s such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro. The Xfinity CoT shares its chassis with the NASCAR Cup Series CoT, but has an extended wheelbase of 110 inches (2794 millimeters).
Each manufacturer uses a distinct body design (similar to 1960s muscle cars), built within strict aerodynamic guidelines provided by NASCAR. The Chevrolet car body currently resembles the Camaro SS, after initially running the Impala and then the Zeta-based Camaro (which coincided with GM's Cup car being its four-door Zeta counterpart, the Holden VF Commodore based Chevrolet SS, being used in Cup at the time) . Ford uses the Mustang GT. Toyota runs the Camry, reconfigured in 2015 to resemble the current production model. Toyota announced they would be running the Supra starting in 2019, replacing the Camry, which had been run in the series since Toyota joined the Xfinity Series in 2007.Dodge teams used the Challenger R/T model, despite the manufacturer pulling all factory support after 2012 (though it continued in Canada as FCA Canada still supports the Pinty's Series). Following Dodge's exit, smaller underfunded teams continued to run second-hand Challenger chassis without factory support (thus earning the nickname "Zombie Dodges"). As a result of a rules change after the 2018 season, all Challenger chassis were rendered ineligible for competition, as the series made the switch to composite body panels. Since FCA had pulled factory support years earlier, no new body was submitted for competition, ending the possibility of running a Challenger chassis in the series.
Drivers highlighted in Bold would eventually go on to win at least one NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Drivers highlighted in Bold would eventually go on to win at least one NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
Drivers highlighted in Italics would eventually go on to win at least one Xfinity Championship.
Drivers highlighted in both Italics and Bold would eventually win at least 1 Xfinity & Cup Championship.
^ = Indicates the driver has won at least 1 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Championship.
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||24|
|Martin Truex Jr.||13|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||8|
|Bobby Hamilton Jr.||5|
|Ron Hornaday Jr.||4|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||4|
|L. D. Ottinger||3|
|A. J. Allmendinger||2|
|Hank Parker Jr.||2|
|John Hunter Nemechek||1|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||1|
|Nelson Piquet Jr.||1|
|Atlanta Motor Speedway||Kevin Harvick||5||Rinnai 250|
|Auto Club Speedway||Kyle Busch||6||Active: Production Alliance Group 300|
Defunct: CampingWorld.com 300
|Bristol Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||9||Spring: Alsco 300 (Bristol)|
Fall: Food City 300
|Charlotte Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||8||Active: Alsco 300 (Charlotte)|
Defunct: Drive for the Cure 300
|Charlotte Motor Speedway (Roval)||Chase Briscoe||1||Drive for the Cure 250|
|Chicagoland Speedway||Kyle Busch||4||Active: Camping World 300 (Chicagoland)|
Defunct: Owens Corning AttiCat 300
|Darlington Raceway||Mark Martin||8||Active: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200|
Defunct: BI-LO 200
|Daytona International Speedway||Dale Earnhardt & Tony Stewart||7||Late Winter: NASCAR Racing Experience 300|
Fall: Circle K Firecracker 250
|Dover International Speedway||Kyle Busch||5||Spring: Allied Steel Buildings 200|
Late Summer: Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200
|Homestead-Miami Speedway||Joe Nemechek||3||Ford EcoBoost 300|
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||4||Indiana 250|
|Iowa Speedway||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & Brad Keselowski||3||Early Summer: CircuitCity.com 250|
Late Summer: U.S. Cellular 250
|Kansas Speedway||Kyle Busch||4||Kansas Lottery 300|
|Kentucky Speedway||Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski & Kyle Busch||3||Active: Alsco 300 (Kentucky)|
Defunct: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
|Las Vegas Motor Speedway||Mark Martin||4||Spring: Boyd Gaming 300|
Fall: Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300
|Martinsville Speedway^||Sam Ard||5||Active: NASCAR Xfinity Series 300|
Defunct: Miller 500 (Busch race)
Defunct: Zerex 150
|Michigan International Speedway||Mark Martin, Todd Bodine, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr.,
Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, & Denny Hamlin
|2||LTi Printing 250|
|New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||6||ROXOR 200|
|Phoenix International Raceway||Kyle Busch||11||Spring: iK9 Service Dog 200|
Fall: Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200
|Pocono Raceway||Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Cole Custer||1||Pocono Green 250|
|Richmond Raceway||Kevin Harvick||7||Active: Go Bowling 250|
Defunct: ToyotaCare 250
|Talladega Superspeedway||Martin Truex Jr.||3||MoneyLion 300|
|Texas Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||9||Spring: My Bariatric Solutions 300|
Fall: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
|Watkins Glen International||Terry Labonte & Marcos Ambrose||4||Zippo 200 at The Glen|
^ - Martinsville was added to the 2020 Xfinity Series schedule on April 3, 2019
|Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez||Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch||1||Corona México 200|
|Circuit Gilles Villeneuve||Kevin Harvick, Ron Fellows, Carl Edwards,
Boris Said, Marcos Ambrose, Justin Allgaier
|1||NAPA Auto Parts 200|
|Caraway Speedway||Dale Earnhardt, Jack Ingram & Butch Lindley||1||Goody's 200|
|Fairgrounds Speedway||Jack Ingram, Darrell Waltrip, Rick Mast, David Green, Bobby Labonte,
Steve Park, Mike McLaughlin, Jeff Green, Randy LaJoie
|1||BellSouth Mobility 320|
|Gateway Motorsports Park||Carl Edwards||3||5-Hour Energy 250|
|Greenville-Pickens Speedway||Jack Ingram & Butch Lindley||1||DAPCO 200|
|Gresham Motorsports Park||Larry Pearson||2||World Crown 200|
|Hickory Motor Speedway||Jack Ingram & Tommy Houston||8||Galaxy Food Centers 300 & The Pantry 300|
|Langley Speedway||Tommy Ellis||5||Busch 200|
|Lanier National Speedway||Five Drivers||1||Nestle 300|
|Louisville Motor Speedway||Tommy Ellis & Tommy Houston||1||Granger Select 200 (Louisville)|
|Lucas Oil Raceway||Morgan Shepherd & Kyle Busch||3||Kroger 200 (Nationwide)|
|Memphis Motorsports Park||Kevin Harvick||2||Kroger On Track for the Cure 250|
|Milwaukee Mile||Greg Biffle & Carl Edwards||2||NorthernTool.com 250|
|Motor Mile Speedway||Four Drivers||1||Granger Select 200|
|Myrtle Beach Speedway||Jimmy Spencer & Jeff Green||2||Myrtle Beach 250|
|Nashville Superspeedway||Carl Edwards||5||Spring: Nashville 300|
Summer: Federated Auto Parts 300
|Nazareth Speedway||Tim Fedewa & Ron Hornaday Jr.||2||Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries 200|
|North Wilkesboro Speedway||Sam Ard||2||Coca-Cola 300|
|Orange County Speedway||Jack Ingram||5||Spring: Roses Stores 300|
Fall: Pantry Stores 300
|Oxford Plains Speedway||Chuck Bown||2||True Value 250|
|Pikes Peak International Raceway||Eight Drivers||1||ITT Industries & Goulds Pumps Salute to the Troops 250|
|Road Atlanta||Darrell Waltrip & Morgan Shepherd||1||Amoco 300|
|Rockingham Speedway||Mark Martin||11||Late Winter: Goody's Headache Powder 200|
Late Fall: Target House 200
|South Boston Speedway||Tommy Ellis||7||Spring: Carquest 300|
Summer: Textilease/Medique 300
|Volusia County Speedway||Four Drivers||1||X-1R Firecracker 200|