Book Details
Author: Rick Houston
Format: Softcover, 9" by 11", 176 pages
Photos: 227 color and black-and-white photos
ISBN: 1-893618-11-0
Price: $24.95
Second To None Second To None
The History of the NASCAR Busch Series

NASCAR’s Busch Series has always been about racing hard and having fun doing it. In the two decades since it grew out of the long-running Late Model Sportsman Series, the Busch circuit has become famous as a training ground for future Winston Cup stars like Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

But the Busch Series has also established its own tradition of ultra-competitive racing and colorful drivers. The series has fostered some legendary rivalries, starting with Sam Ard and Jack Ingram in its earliest years and continuing with more recent grudge matches between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth.

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And despite the fierce competition on the track, the Busch Series has also earned a reputation as a friendlier, less corporate circuit than the Winston tour, one in which the community of drivers, teams and fans still resembles an extended—though often fractious—family. When someone in that community unexpectedly misses a race, competitors will often call their home or shop to see that everything is OK. Until now, no single source has told the full story of the Busch Series from its origins to the present day. Second to None traces the beginnings of the series in the Sportsman class and reviews every season from 1982-2000. Among the highlights:

  • Sam Ard’s championship season in 1983, when he won a total of 10 races, including four in a row late in the year. Both feats are still Busch series records. Ard’s driving career would be brought to an early end by a near-fatal accident the following year.
  • The strange season of 1988, when Jack Ingram’s suspension (for rough driving in an unrelated Late Sportsman event) and the suspicious cancellation of a late-season race would help make Larry Pearson a dark-horse title winner. Pearson would go on to repeat as champion under less controversial circumstances the following year.
  • Michael Waltrip’s spectacular 1990 crash at Bristol, Tennessee. Though many racing fans still consider it the worst they’ve ever seen, Waltrip walked away from the wreck and returned to the track for another race the next day.
  • Jeff Green’s "Complete Control" season in 2000, when he won six races, posted 25 top-five finishes in 32 starts and took the Busch Series championship by an astonishing 616-point margin. When Green’s top fives and point margin broke records Sam Ard had held for 16 years it seemed like the future of the series was meeting its past.

Second To None goes beyond mere history to tell the inside story of each driver’s struggle to win in one of the most competitive venues in motorsports.


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