The NASCAR Xfinity Series is a stock car racing series owned and operated by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. It is promoted as NASCAR's "minor league" circuit, and is considered a proving ground for drivers who wish to step up to the organization's top level circuit, the Sprint Cup Series. Xfinity Series races are frequently held in the same venue as, and a day prior to, the Sprint Cup race scheduled for that weekend, encouraging fans to attend both events.
The series was previously called the Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series in 1982 and 1983, the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series from 1984 through 2003, the NASCAR Busch Series from 2004 through 2007, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 2008 through 2014.
The series emerged from NASCAR's Sportsman division, which had been formed in 1950 as NASCAR's short track race division. It was NASCAR's fourth series (after the Modified and Roadster series in 1948 and Strictly Stock in 1949). The sportsman cars were not current model cars and could be modified more, but not as much as Modified series cars. It became the Late Model Sportsman Series in 1968, and soon featured races on larger tracks such as Daytona International Speedway.
Drivers used obsolete Grand National (now Sprint Cup) cars on larger tracks but by the inception of the touring format in 1982, the series used older compact cars. Short track cars with relatively small 300 cubic inch V-8 motors were used. Drivers used smaller current year models featuring V6 motors.
The modern-day Xfinity Series was formed in 1982, when Anheuser-Busch sponsored a newly reformed late-model sportsman series with its Budweiser brand. The series switched sponsorship to Busch in 1984. It was renamed in 1986 to the Busch Grand National Series.
This "clean" image allowed Williams to sign a cigarette anti-craving brand, Niquitin, and Anheuser-Busch, alternating with the Budweiser beer brand and SeaWorld Adventure Parks, in compliance with trademark disputes or alcohol bans.