2005 NASCAR Busch Series Schedule Released International date in Mexico City added; Series returns to Watkins Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 5, 2004) -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced its...
2005 NASCAR Busch Series Schedule Released
International date in Mexico City added; Series returns to Watkins Glen
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 5, 2004) -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced its 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule, including an international date -- a race in Mexico City at the famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.
The event, set for March 6, will be the third race of the 35-race season and the first NASCAR Busch Series points event held outside the United States. It also will mark the return of road-course racing to the NASCAR Busch Series, as will an Aug. 13 event set for Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The NASCAR Busch Series previously had road-course races at Road Atlanta in 1986 and '87 and at Watkins Glen from 1991-2001.
"Mexico has a long tradition in motorsports, and we are thrilled that NASCAR is now part of it," said NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France. "Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a beautiful track that provides our NASCAR Busch Series teams the opportunity to perform on an international stage. We look forward to providing this event for our growing Mexican fan base."
"I'm thrilled about the prospects of racing in Mexico as part of NASCAR's efforts to attract Mexican-American fans," said FitzBradshaw Racing co-owner Armando Fitz. "This effort truly highlights our sport's interest in establishing a strong relationship with the Hispanic community."
"Whether it be crossing the finish line or racing in a new country, it's always exciting to be first," said David Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion.
"As a driver, you always jump at the opportunity to race at different venues. Mexico City is the perfect comeback for road-course racing in the NASCAR Busch Series. This is a great opportunity for the series and I can guarantee the fans in Mexico City will not be disappointed."
"We are proud to bring NASCAR, the greatest stock car series in the world, to the Mexican market and race fans," said George Gonzalez, Director for Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, "and we are prouder still that NASCAR has chosen Mexico to stage a points race for the first time ever outside the U.S."
"The Mexican motorsports fan is well-informed about motorsports and this race will allow them to experience NASCAR first hand," said Ed Rensi, co-owner of Team Rensi Motorsports. "Big, new markets mean big, new opportunities for our team and our sport. Our team can't wait to go racing in Mexico City."
Mexico has a long history of interest in motorsports and a passionate fan base. A race weekend at the 2.75-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez last year drew a three-day total of 402,413 fans, including 221,011 on race day.
NASCAR's connections to Mexican racing span more than a half century. In June 1950, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. teamed with Curtis Turner to drive in the first Mexican Road Race -- a 2,178-mile race from El Paso, Texas, across Mexico to Guatemala.
Mexican racing legend Pedro Rodriguez participated in six NASCAR events from 1959-71. His best finish was fifth in the 1965 World 600 at Charlotte. Rodriguez and his brother, Ricardo, raced frequently at Daytona International Speedway in the early 1960s with Pedro winning the Daytona Continental sports car event in 1963 and '64. Rodriguez again scored back-to-back Daytona wins with victories in the 1970 and 1971 24 Hours of Daytona sports car classic.
"Another benefit to NASCAR's initiative in Mexico is a long-term commitment to embrace Mexican fans throughout Mexico and the U.S.," said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne. "This is a great opportunity for NASCAR to connect with Mexican motorsports fans as well as Mexican-Americans, who represent nearly 60% of an integral part of the U.S. Hispanic demographic."
Worldwide fan demand, combined with the power of the NASCAR brand and the quality of the competition has fueled interest in NASCAR by broadcasters around the world. NASCAR is now seen in more than 150 countries and in 23 languages. This year, NASCAR's international broadcast partners will air more than 4,000 hours of NASCAR-related programming outside the U.S.
The return of Watkins Glen to the schedule now gives that track a doubleheader weekend, with the NASCAR Busch Series a companion to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event set for Aug. 14.
"We are thrilled to have the NASCAR Busch Series back," said Craig Rust, the track's president. "This is not only a fantastic edition to our Sirius at the Glen weekend in 2005, New York State's largest spectator event, but also illustrates our continued efforts to bring the highest level of motorsports entertainment to our fans."
The 2005 NASCAR Busch Series schedule showcases exciting racing at popular venues coast to coast as well as the trend of pairing NASCAR Busch Series races with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. There are nine such NASCAR "tripleheader weekends" in 2005.
The 2005 NASCAR Busch Series will encompass 35 events at 27 tracks in 22 states and two countries with 26 events run in conjunction with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. All 35 events are scheduled to be broadcast on FOX/NBC/FX/TNT.
"Sponsors are attracted to NASCAR because of the sport's ability to attract fans and viewers representing all demographics and backgrounds," said Tony Ponturo, Vice President of Global Media & Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "We're excited about the addition of a NASCAR Busch Series event in Mexico City next year as a way to reach out to adult beer drinkers in Mexico who are passionate about all sports including racing."
Proudly sponsored by Anheuser-Busch through its Busch brand, the NASCAR Busch Series will compete in its 24th consecutive season in 2005, opening February 19 at Daytona International Speedway, as part of a tripleheader weekend including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' Daytona 500.
The NASCAR Busch Series moves to California Speedway in the Los Angeles market on February 26, before heading to Mexico City on March 6, followed by momentum-building events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 12 and Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19. The 2005 schedule includes the addition of second dates at Phoenix International Raceway, which will run its races on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, Nov. 12; and Texas Motor Speedway, which will host its events Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, Nov. 5. The season will conclude, as it has since 1995, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19.