NASCAR & Auto Racing

Bigger issues already decided, Saturday's Busch race is just that

HOMESTEAD, Fla. There’s not much to be decided in Saturday’s Busch Series’ Ford 300 other than who will win the race.

Carl Edwards has long-since clinched the championship. Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 team, with drivers Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer, needs only to start to clinch the owner title. Even the name of the series for 2008 – it will change to the Nationwide Series – has already been decided upon.

So when the season ends Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there’s one primary goal for many Busch drivers: Preparing for Sunday’s Nextel Cup finale, then getting some rest.

“I’m looking forward to the break,” said Edwards. “I don’t know the next time I’m getting in a race car. I think I’m going somewhere crazy, out of the country where they don’t speak English and don’t know anything about NASCAR.”

Edwards’ 4,640 points are an insurmountable 571 ahead of David Reutimann. Although Edwards has run away with the championship, Kevin Harvick’s six victories lead all drivers this season.

NASCAR’s No. 2 series won’t be different next season beyond the name change.

But it’s still brought on some fond memories about a series that’s also been known as Late Model Sportsman and Grand National before getting the Busch sponsorship in 1982.

“I loved the Busch Series,” said Chuck Bown, who won the Busch championship in 1990. “It was a heck of a lot of fun. Those were the best years of my career, really. You knew it was serious hard racing because so many of those Cup guys raced with us on a regular basis.

“When you won races or won a championship there, you did something. You made your mark in motorsports.”

Related stories from Modesto Bee