NASCAR: Limits placed on Sprint Cup drivers in Xfinity, Truck
Kyle Busch places a winner decal on his car after winning a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 15, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR announced on Wednesday guidelines for participation in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series by full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers, limiting the number of races at the Xfinity Series and Truck Series level by current full-time drivers in the Sprint Cup Series that have more than five years of experience as full-time Sprint Cup drivers, beginning in 2017.
“The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy said. “These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.”
Starting next season, full-time Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time Sprint Cup experience will be limited to 10 Xfinity Series races and seven Camping World Truck Series races per season. Also, full-time Sprint Cup drivers with over five years of full-time Cup experience will be prohibited from competing in the final eight Xfinity and Truck series races of the season — the final races of the regular season and the seven races that make up the chases in each of those series.
Drivers earning championship points in the Sprint Cup Series, regardless of experience, will be prohibited from competing in the Xfinith and Camping World Truck series season-finales at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This season, only Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers from last season are prohibited from competing in the Xfinity and Truck series races at Homestead-Miami.
Also, full-time Cup drivers with more than five years of experience as full-time Sprint Cup drivers will be prohibitted from running the four Dash 4 Cash races in the Xfinity Series.
The new guidelines apply only to current Sprint Cup drivers during a a given season. A driver with over five years of Cup experience may still move from the Sprint Cup Series to the Xfinity or Camping World Truck series to compete for a championship there. Also, current Sprint Cup drivers with five or fewer years of full-time Cup experience still may compete in as many Xfinity and Truck series races as they want, with the exception of the Xfinity and Truck season-finales.
These new guidelines are in response to an overabundance of Xfinity and Truck series races, primarily Xfinity Series races, being won by Sprint Cup regular. Nineteen of the 30 Xfinity races, so far, this season were won by Sprint Cup regulars, led by Kyle Busch with nine wins in 16 starts. Busch has won more than six Xfinity Series races per year in eight of the last nine seasons. In the first 30 Xfinity Series races of 2016, six full-time Sprint Cup drivers already have competed in 10 or more Xfinity races. Three of those six drivers — Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski — have more than five years of full-time Sprint Cup experience. Busch and Keselowski are former Sprint Cup Series champions, with Busch winning the Sprint Cup in 2015 and Keselowski in 2012.
Meanwhile, in the Camping World Truck Series this season, only three of the 19 races, so far, were won by full-time Sprint Cup drivers, and no Cup regular has competed in more than seven Truck Series races.