NASCAR is extending its push to cut Cup drivers from Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races.
The sanctioning body said Tuesday that Cup drivers with five years or more of experience are limited to seven Xfinity races and five Truck Series races in 2018. Cup drivers fitting the same criteria can drive in 10 Xfinity races in 2017 and seven Truck races. All Cup drivers are banned from driving in any playoff races in either lower series.
“Fans have made it clear that they want to see the future stars of the sport racing against their peers in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series,” NASCAR vice president Jim Cassidy said. “These guidelines achieve that and preserve limited opportunities for developing drivers to compete against the best in motorsports.”
Cup drivers have won 13 of the Xfinity Series’ 19 races in 2017, though some winners like Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney don’t fit the five-year criteria. If fans are really that upset about Cup drivers in the Xfinity Series, the new limits may not do much to prevent Cup drivers from winning races. There will still be a Cup driver or three in most Xfinity races held at the same site as Cup races.
If NASCAR really wanted to be bold, we have a novel idea. Why not designate seven Xfinity races and five Truck races where Cup drivers can participate? They can be seven companion races and be set long enough ahead of time so teams with multiple Cup drivers can prepare additional cars if they wanted. Those seven races could then feature as showcases of sorts and open up more races on the lower series’ schedules for other drivers to win.
– – – – – – –