Gas 'N' Go: Should NASCAR Limit Cup Drivers?

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch and other Sprint Cup regulars have combined to win 28 of 51 Nationwide and Camping World Truck races this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

What limits, if any, should NASCAR put on Sprint Cup drivers racing in Nationwide and Camping World Truck races next year?

MRN Staff

Answer

Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

For years I've defended the right of Sprint Cup Series regulars to participate in either the Nationwide or Truck Series on an unlimited basis. But, in my view, things have gotten out of hand to the point that the very existence of each division depends on some new policies.

In theory, the idea to have drivers declare for a championship - thus not allowing Cup regulars to earn points in Nationwide or Truck races - was the right direction. But now all it's done is set up a scenario in Nationwide to potentially have a champion in Austin Dillon go winless. You'll have that when Cup drivers have dominated the year to the tune of Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing combining for 26 wins so far this season. To say it has become a travesty is an understatement.

NASCAR has no other option but to cap the number of starts a Sprint Cup regular can make in either series; five or 10 at most. I'm well aware of the ramifications this might initially cause with sponsors and the current business model of some teams. But in the long run and, for the health and well-being of each division, it has to happen.

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

NASCAR needs to decide what it wants the Nationwide and Truck series to be. If they each are meant to be a developmental series, then make rules to ensure more young drivers get opportunities. If not, then let the Sprint Cup regulars play.

I’m for capping how many races a Cup regular can compete in those series - with a caveat. I’d allow a Cup driver to have an unlimited number of starts in either series if they’re driving for a team not owned or operated by a Cup owner. I’d cap any Cup regular to no more than 12 races combined in both series with a team owned or operated by a Cup owner.

You can’t be too restrictive because sponsors want the Cup drivers. Take away Cup drivers, then you could lose sponsors. How is that helping the sport?

Also, someone needs to explain to me the hand-wringing about the possibility of the Nationwide champ going winless. For as much as Austin Dillon wants to win a race, I’m sure he’d take a title even if he went winless.  

 

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup

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