The Nascar Nextel Cup Series

One of the biggest events on America’s sporting calendar and the most important of NASACAR’s racing series is the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Nextel took over sponsorship of the NASACAR Cup Series back in 2004. The series was previously called the Grand National and later, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. After taking over sponsorship, the Cup Series was changed to give new NASACAR drivers a better chance and also to make it more competitive. The NASCAR Nextel Cup “Race to the Chase” was established which added more excitement, much like a “playoff” system. After 26 races the top ten drivers in points are eligible to compete for the Cup in the last 10 races of the season. As with other NASCAR series, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rewards drivers can for wins and for laps led. Five bonus points are awarded to drivers who lead a whole lap during a race.

A separate Chase for the Championship is operated by the Nextel Cup Owner’s Championship and the Nextel Cup Driver’s Championship. Over the course of a cup series it is quite common for driver’s points to differ from owner’s points. It is rare for drivers and owners to be the same people in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. This fact is due to the structure of the modern NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races tending to favour racing teams that own multiple cars.

The NASCAR Cup Series began in 1950, when it was won by Bill Rexford, still the youngest person ever to have won it. The most successful driver ever in the NASCAR Cup Series was Richard Petty, who won twenty seven races back in 1967. He was the son of previous NASCAR Cup Series champion Lee Petty. The NASCAR Cup Series has been vital in promoting the sport of racing, which started out on dirt tracks with little reward. Richard Petty was the first driver to earn over $100,000 in a NASCAR Cup Series.

Winning the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series depends not only on the skills of the drivers but also on designers who work year round on improving cars for participation in the series, and on the dedicated crews who support cars as they race for the cup. These days, NASCAR crew chiefs use computer simulations, to help them judge how cars are likely to perform in the series. Most agree that the most important thing is a strong, durable engine, which can make all the difference when it comes to winning the NASCAR cup.

Nextel’s sponsorship of the NASCAR Cup Series has helped to revive corporate interest in the telecommunications company. Nextel was recently purchased by the Sprint corporation to become Sprint Nextel. It is expected that this will result in next year’s premiere racing competition being renamed from the NASCAR Cup Series to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR continues to reinvent itself to appeal to the masses, to provide increased value to it’s sponsors and to provide more safety to the drivers.


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