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NASCAR limits on Cup in Xfinity, Truck shouldn’t go any further

There’s a popular saying that goes something like, “Be careful what you wish for; you just may get it.” I think fans complaining about Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series should probably heed that warning. Most specifically, I’m speaking to the fans who want a total ban — No Cup drivers, at all, in any Xfinity or Truck series race.

I thought the move by NASCAR to limit experienced Cup drivers in Xfinity and Truck series races this year was a good compromise between two extreme factions — one wanting the Cup drivers in Xfinity and Truck whenever and wherever and one that wanted them gone. NASCAR will expand those limitations next year. Read about it, here.

On his SiriusXM Speedway show on Tuesday, host Dave Moody prognosticated that NASCAR may be going in the direction of completely eliminating Cup drivers from the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series, answering complaints from the fans who want a complete elimination. Many fans seem to think that’s what they want, but those folks haven’t considered a serious side-effect of such a move.

Consider the health of the Camping World Truck Series. Things don’t look good over there. Case in point — the still-somewhat recent closure of Red Horse Racing, a tenured and successful team in the series. Heck, Timothy Peters was fourth in points when RHR shut its doors, leaving him without a ride.

Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are team owners in the Truck Series, and sometimes they drive their trucks. Busch said on Moody’s show Tuesday that if he’s prohibited from competing in the Truck Series as a driver, he’d shut down his team. I don’t agree with everything Busch says on every topic, and oftentimes, I think he could express his opinions a little better. But I have to say, I’m with him on this one. Providing opportunities for up-and-comers is fine and good; it’s downright commendable. But why pour your money into a series in which you’re not wanted?

Maybe Keselowski feels the same.

It’s not like these two aforementioned drivers are making money by fielding Truck Series teams. According to both of them, they’re losing something in the ballpark of over $1 million/year. Why throw $1 million+/year into a series in which you’re not wanted.

Those two teams each provide multiple rides for those up-and-comers fans claim they want to see. Busch and Keselowski aren’t in the trucks every week, and when they are, they’re not in all the trucks they’re fielding. After all, they can only drive one at a time. What about the rides they’re giving other drivers?

I guess fans wanting a total elimination of Cup drivers in Xfinity and the Camping World Truck series are going to put trucks on the track for the up-and-comers they want to see race in the Truck Series. If not, from where are the rides for those future stars going to come?

Now, lets consider the Xfinity Series. Multiple car owners —  Kelley Earnhardt Miller of JR Motorsports comes to mind, though — have said that the sponsorship deals they’re able to get often hinge on a known Cup star being in the car for some races. If cars aren’t sponsored, they usually fade into the sunset, as in they go away.

Again, if the cars aren’t there, what are these up-and-comers going to drive? At least now, some have a part-time ride they share with a Cup regular or two, or they may have a full-time ride as a teammate to a roster of multiple Cup drivers in another team car. If those teams lose sponsors, those rides will go away.

I’m not going to support my case with the learning argument, because the validity of that argument seems to depend on which driver you ask. According to Blake Koch, he doesn’t learn any more by running against the Cup drivers on Saturday, but Kyle Larson says he became the driver he is today from his experience of racing against the likes of Busch and Keselowski in the Xfinity Series races on Saturday.

That aside, look at it from the financial standpoint I laid out earlier. Want to see up-and-comers in the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series? They’re going to need something to drive.

Again, be careful what you wish for.

The further limitations announced on Tuesday may not have crossed the line into too much territory, but it’s getting close. I sure hope Moody’s wrong, and NASCAR doesn’t take these limits any further.

I also don’t understand the hypocrisy of folks who grumble at Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series, but then, turn around and applaud the same drivers for racing a late model, sprint car, enter another type of race car or racing series here. But that’s kind of another subject for another day.

And another sub-subject-related rant. Are we sure this isn’t just a product of Busch-hate? After all, where’s the outcry when other Cup drivers win Xfinity and Truck series races? If it’s there, it’s definitely nowhere near as loud. Case in point — these limitations have been lauded as steps in the right direction. Have you noticed that Cup drivers are still winning a bulk of the Xfinity Series races? They’re just not all being won by Busch.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on August 1, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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