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The Best Busch Sponsored Moments in NASCAR

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With Busch Beer announcing that they will be sponsoring Ross Chastain next year, it got us thinking about the history of the sponsor in the sport. Anheuser-Busch has been one of NASCAR’s top sponsors for decades, and plenty of cars adorning their colors have won some big races.

5. 2020: Kevin Harvick Wins 8 Races with Busch

In 2020, Kevin Harvick had a career year as NASCAR worked to navigate around the COVID-19 pandemic. He would go on to win nine races that season, with eight of those sporting Busch sponsorship. The most notable of them coming at Darlington that year as he took home the first NASCAR race after the pandemic.

Harvick would continue to dominate after that one winning at Darlington again that fall as well. He also took home his second career win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400 that season. He swept the doubleheader weekend at Michigan that year winning on back-to-back days.

4. 1979-Present: Monty Roberts Invents the Busch Clash

With Busch entering into NASCAR in 1979, brand manager Monty Roberts came up with a creative way to implement his brand into NASCAR speedweeks. The idea was simple. Take the pole winners from one season ago, run them for a short exhibition race to put in a 30 minute TV window the week before the Daytona 500.

Buddy Baker won the inaugural event, and it became the unofficial kick-off of the NASCAR season for years afterwards as the first racing action of Speedweeks under a variety of different formats. Busch returned to sponsor the Clash in 2020, and it has now evolved to be run on a temporary circuit at the LA Coliseum. NASCAR’s “curtain raiser” can be credited to Busch.

3. 1982-2007: Busch Sponsors NASCAR’s Second-Tier Series

In 1982, NASCAR reinvented their late-model sportsman division into what is now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series. For the first 25 years of its’ existence, Busch was the sponsor of the series, and that impact is still felt to this day. The series evolved over the years into NASCAR’s main pipeline to the Cup Series.

Drivers such as Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joe Nemechek, and many others won races and championships in the series. It is also where the term “Buschwacking” was coined to describe Cup Series drivers who would drop down to the Busch Series on Saturdays just for grins and giggles. Drivers such as Jack Ingram, Sam Ard, and Randy LaJoie also made careers for themselves in the series.

2. 2016 Night Race at Bristol: Kevin Harvick Puts Busch Back in Victory Lane

For years, Anheuser-Busch had used their Budweiser brand in NASCAR competition, but they made the switch from Budweiser to Busch in 2016. Kevin Harvick was the driver, and he was in the middle of his prime. It did not take long for Busch to find its way back to victory lane.

On a steamy, rain delayed, Sunday afternoon race at Bristol, Kevin Harvick took the lead for good from Denny Hamlin with 71 laps to go, and that was the end of it. Harvick pulled away to win by 1.933 seconds, which was the first win for Busch in years. It was the first of 13 race wins for Kevin Harvick in the car.

1. 1979 Daytona 500: “Hey There’s a Fight”

Junior Johnson and Associates began a longtime partnership with Anheuser-Busch in 1979. Cale Yarborough, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion piloted the 11 car, and he was on the bumper of race leader Donnie Allison to finish the 1979 Daytona 500. NASCAR fans know where this is going next.

Yarborough and Allison crashed in turn three on the final lap, handing the lead and the win to Richard Petty. Soon afterwards, a Goodyear blimp shot showed a crowd around the number 11 Busch car, and a fight had broken out between Yarborough and the Allison brothers. TV time aplenty for Busch beer on that day.

Busch has been a major partner of NASCAR for years, and plenty of great moments have happened with Busch right there. What moments will Ross Chastain add to this list?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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