The Frontstretch: Take a Bow, Brad and Carl: NNS Blood Is On Your Hands by Bryan Davis Keith -- Thursday October 14, 2010

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Take a Bow, Brad and Carl: NNS Blood Is On Your Hands

Bryan Davis Keith · Thursday October 14, 2010


Talking to Brad Keselowski, you’d never know anything was wrong with the Nationwide Series.

Speaking to FOX Sports’ Lee Spencer, the current NNS points leader remarked the series “[is] still profitable. It has sponsors. We may not have everything we want, but we’re OK.”

“My perspective is they’re [development drivers] there because we’re there and because the Cup drivers bring the attention and credibility to the sport, to bring some sponsorship and to bring a desire for them to compete against us and prove themselves.”

It’s amazing how a driver like Keselowski, only a few years removed from toiling at the back of the field with the vastly underfunded Keith Coleman Racing operation, can seemingly have lost so much perspective since getting behind the wheel of a fully-funded ride with Cup backing. Then again, who in their right mind would go around saying things are broken when they’re fully sponsored and leading the championship standings by nearly 400 points over second place?

And it’s not like Keselowski is alone among Cup drivers trying to mount a defense of their continual pillaging of NASCAR’s development ranks. Any number of them will argue that they’re the reason the series draws a crowd, that the series draws sponsor dollars, that there’s plenty of drivers making it through the ranks.

Let’s make one thing very clear. The Nationwide Series is not healthy. It may well still be the number two form of American motorsports, but celebrating that a national touring stock car series is able to score better ratings and attendance than an open-wheel series that runs a largely international field who only drive Hondas and whose shining star is a driver known more for her looks and lip than her ability to turn left (or right) is really clutching at straws. Frankly, that’s not much of an accomplishment. And looking at any of the measures of health that Keselowski points to as indicators that the Nationwide ranks aren’t that broken, his rosy red picture of the series he’s made his playground (while his Cup team lags behind) is about as upside down as his car at Atlanta.

The Nationwide Series sponsorship secured by NASCAR for their AAA division was estimated at $12 million…nearly $20 million under the sanctioning body’s asking price.

Let’s take a look at the sponsorship claim. Nationwide is still the title sponsor…and the deal they signed back in 2008 was 40% of what NASCAR was looking for. Penske Racing, which is fielding the first and fourth place cars in the series, have one car sponsored for all but six races by someone they poached from another Nationwide team, and the other is losing their sponsor at the end of this season. Roush Fenway Racing has still been unable to secure full-backing for two of their four NNS cars. Phoenix Racing cut back to a partial schedule because they couldn’t find a sponsor. Diamond-Waltrip Racing was forced to release Trevor Bayne for lack of a full sponsor for 2011. Richard Childress Racing’s shutting down their Nationwide program only four years after winning the series championship. Baker/Curb Racing has no sponsorship for either of their two cars. And that’s not even getting to the middle-tier operations in the back that can’t even dream of a full season sponsorship package.

NASCAR brought about the CoT car to the Nationwide Series despite dire economic conditions because it was sure to entice new ownership to come in. As of Charlotte, the last race for the new car in 2010, the number of new teams that have surfaced to field the new car? One. Don’t forget that the CoT is also parking another full-time team, the No. 26 of K-Automotive, for Charlotte. In short, the ownership influx is a push.

And as for the development drivers only being able to race because Cup drivers bring legitimacy and sponsorship to the series, forget about that joke of an argument. Brian Vickers and Martin Truex, Jr. would likely have a word or two to say about the Nationwide Series needing legitimacy through Cup drivers running roughshod over development drivers… as they both owe their careers in Cup to winning Nationwide Series championships before Roush Racing and Greg Biffle came up with the double duty for Cup drivers idea.

And those sponsors they bring? Well, they’re not being brought into the sport… they’re moving to the Cup drivers. This isn’t growth of wealth, it’s reallocation. Discount Tire was already in the sport before Brad Keselowski signed them. Carl Edwards’ Copart was associated with KHI and teams in the Truck ranks. Fastenal was previously with JR Motorsports and Bobby Hamilton Racing. And as for the entire idea of trickle-down, find me a Nationwide regular that’s got a sponsor thanks to one of them.

Now let’s look at perhaps the most important measure of the sport’s health…attendance. Consider the final five races remaining on the Nationwide Series circuit, based on annual attendance averages since 2007. For tracks that host two dates, the annual average projection has been calculated by using spring attendance:

Charlotte Motor Speedway: Annual average down 65.7%
Gateway International Raceway: Steady since 2007
Texas Motor Speedway: Annual average down 49.6%
Phoenix International Raceway: Annual average down 24.4%
Homestead Miami Speedway: Steady since 2007

Keep in mind these stats are based on NASCAR attendance estimates, which are generous to put it lightly; anyone that believes there were actually 52,000 people at Gateway earlier this summer probably also believes there was debris on the track back when Jimmie Johnson was handed the win at Atlanta in the fall of 2004. And even with NASCAR’s best case scenario playing out, attendance over the final five races is down an average of 27.94%. Not exactly representative of Keselowski’s stating “we’re OK.”

Based on the steady decline of attendance, the lack of sponsorship, and the flow of ownership leaving rather than entering the sport (CJM Racing, PPC Racing, Lewis Motorsports, Frank Cicci Racing are among the many to bite the dust), there’s only one conclusion that seems reasonable; something in the Nationwide Series needs changing.

And for a while this season, it seemed like change was finally going to come. With Keselowski, Edwards and Kyle Busch mowing down the field, the momentum was there for NASCAR to finally crack down on what has become an epidemic problem in the Nationwide ranks; that a select group of Cup drivers had turned a vital part of the stock car racing infrastructure into their personal playground, the future of that series be damned. Talks of finally putting a cap on Cup driver participation, on preventing them from running for the championship, were actually going somewhere substantial.

Then Carl Edwards came along and told everyone that he enjoyed Nationwide racing too much. And that title or no title, he and his sponsors were coming back full-time in 2011.

Fans hoping to see massive changes to Cup driver participation in the Nationwide ranks are likely to be disappointed in 2011, thanks in large part to one Carl Edwards.

Suddenly NASCAR got cold feet. How could they possibly freeze out one of their cherished stars? How could a fully sponsored Carl Edwards be a bad thing?

Now, with only five weeks left in the season, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series town hall was nothing more than a marketing session. One that honestly couldn’t have gone well…because is there really any answer to this question?

Nationwide Independent Owner: What can I tell a sponsor to sell them on my car when I run on 10% of the budget of a Cup team with a lesser-known driver? When Carl Edwards and his friends are going to run in the top 5 35 times a year, hogging the purse money and the TV time, points or no points, where’s the incentive for a sponsor to get on my car?

The sheer number of teams, be it TriStar Motorsports or Jeremy Clements Racing, that have strung 2010 seasons together on the backs of sponsors that pick up nothing but partial tire bills, or others like K-Automotive that thanks to personnel constraints have all but given up on marketing out of necessity, speaks volumes as to how this question really has no answer.

And it goes a long way to demonstrating that as much as drivers like Keselowski and Edwards would like to have everyone believe that their continued full-time campaign in NASCAR’s minor league is a win-win for everyone, it’s not.

Because it’s not like all the extra seat time is producing results for them at the Cup level. Carl Edwards hasn’t won a Cup race, hell even been relevant in Cup racing, since 2008. And as for Keselowski, his resume in the No. 12 Cup car features 13 top-20 finishes. That’s only two more than David Stremme etched in the same car one year ago… a performance that cost him the ride.

There’s also the fact that combined, the last decade’s worth of Cup champions have started a total of four Nationwide races in 2010. If there’s one thing Cup champions have in common, it appears to be focusing on the big prize rather than Saturday’s low-hanging fruit.

Maybe Carl and Brad, the only two Cup regulars to announce intentions that they’re racing Nationwide full-time in 2011, just aren’t ready to handle the demands of Cup. Maybe Jimmie Johnson is just that much better. If that’s the case, here’s hoping these two get over themselves and commit to running AAA.

Because a Nationwide regular legitimately winning the series crown would bring more legitimacy to the sport than Brad and Co.‘s moonlight ever will.

Contact Bryan Davis Keith

Friday on the Frontstretch:
Driver or Crew Chief? Chemistry Not Just For Science Class Anymore
If You Watch Or Attend One Event This Year…
Scott Speed Diary: Guys Day Out With Dinger, Football and Amanda in a Go-Kart!
Driven to the Past: Thanks for the Comments…

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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Couch Potato Tuesday: Picking The Best IndyCar On-Air Personalities


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phil h
10/15/2010 01:33 AM

ditto! I remember complaining when Mark Martin would drop down to AAA racin’ and just dominate! I was furious then,but he was just in selected shows!Now you have 3 or 4 seeking the championship and totally making a mockery of the series!Is it any wonder Nascars’ decline is rampant!A Nationwide Series that is 1/3 cup drivers!Every race its Kyle Busch,Brad K,Harvick or Edwards leading,its like a broken record!

10/15/2010 03:19 AM

All you guys do is whine.

Get rid of the cup guys and there won’t be live NW racing on TV in two years. Speed might show it the following Monday at 2 am.

Would that be better?

10/15/2010 06:23 AM

I don’t know who this Robin is (see above), but it’s not the Robin that has been posting here on a regular basis (me). I guess I will change my user name to Robin1.

10/15/2010 06:30 AM

Bryan, I agree and disagree with you. I don’t think the Cup guys should be able to go for the championship in the Nationwide Series, but I do think they should at least be able to run a limited schedule. If you have listened to some of the Nationwide regulars, they like having the Cup guys in the race because at least it gives them some idea of what they will be up against if they do get a Cup ride. I really don’t think that keeping the Cup Drivers out of the series is going to bring anymore sponsorship to the development drivers. Heck,Jeff Gordon is struggling to find a sponser for half of his races next year.

10/15/2010 07:53 AM

Funny how you dump all the blame for the Nationwide Series’ woes soley on Carl Edwards, but you make no mention of the domination by Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs racing. Interesting!

10/15/2010 07:59 AM

Robin1…I agree that the Cup guys should be able to run a partial schedule with appropriate handicapping based on Cup Status (reduced practice, fewer sets of tires, etc.).

But we should remember no young Nationwide regular is going to complain about the Cup drivers dropping down because their ability and willingness to compete would be questioned…not to mention potential retaliation for raining on their parade.

Stephen HOOD
10/15/2010 08:05 AM

I don’t have a problem with people like Brad K. and Joey L. running Nationwide in their early years in Sprint Cup. How would Brad K. be feeling about himself this year if he wasn’t running so well in NW? Logano is running well in Cup, but his NW wins have to be helping his confidence as his Cup team matures. Other drivers like Scott Speed ought to spend some time in NW to improve their skills and to boost their egos. I’d actually like to see more of the fledgling Cup drivers running in NW. Let the second tier of Cup battle it out in NW.

I do get sick of people touting the greatness of Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards who have eclipsed the 10 win mark in Cup as if their Nationwide wins are all due to skill and not top notch equipment. Maybe the problem with NW is there aren’t enough Cup drivers in the mix. Pony car Saturday, sedan Sunday!

I don’t really know what NASCAR should do. Brad’s arguments make sense to Brad and his ilk and the writer’s counter arguments are logically consistent, but I don’t think either argument resolves the issues. I started watching NW when Bowyer and Truex were tearing up the circuit in RCR and DEI equipment, so I don’t see the difference other than Gibbs and Rousch and Penske are throwing their first string drivers into the cars. At least Rousch and Penske have second string drivers in their second car. Maybe that’s the answer. One Cup driver per NW team. Second, third, and fourth cars have to be driven by non Cup or part time Cup drivers.

10/15/2010 08:37 AM

Yet another idiotic comment, Randy. If you had been watching na$car long enough, you would also know that Jr. and Jamie come from the Busch series, now known as Nationwide.

DansMom, could you please explain why the TV and attendance ratings have been DOWN for every race that Dani-can’t-finish-on-the-lead-lap has entered, except for Daytona in February?

Bryan, what you say is bang on the money. When a few Cup drivers ran a select schedule, and even then didn’t run up front and win every week the Busch Series THRIVED.
Now that is has been determined that the ADD crowd can only be enticed to watch the Nationwide Series by running a half dozen Cup drivers every week, it is dying. I guess the ADD crowd’s inability to stay tuned AND learn a few new names makes this necessary, but, once again; it is the people that loved this sport and brought it to its historic highs that get screwed.
People can make all the jokes they want about how the “rednecks” aren’t necessary for na$car to remain viable financially. But the numbers tell a different story. When the idiots at the top of na$car figure out that changes are needed, it will be too late. Because the one thing I have learned from the “rednecks” that I know, it is that they are really good at holding a grudge.
Oh yeah, Don’t forget that brian france also has NNS blood on his hands.

10/15/2010 08:54 AM

You writers are always the first to wave the “tradition” flag any time any change is proposed in Nascar but yet you continually advocate breaking the oldest tradition in racing — the tradition that anyone who can present a legal car at inspection can attempt to qualify for the field.

Racing series are not differentiated by the success-level of the drivers running them but by the type of equipment they run. Perhaps the Nationwide and Cup cars are too similar in their set-up and handling and should be further differentiated, perhaps not.

Your continual whining about the so-called “little guy” may sound good to those inclined toward socialist equality of outcomes, but there’s nothing on God’s green earth that will ever make being underfunded and over your head into a viable business strategy.

Getting in too deep instead of suiting your competitive endeavors to your level of funding is not a virtue.

10/15/2010 09:21 AM


Since you want to display that pseudo economics vs. socialism crap, let’s look at is on a real world level.
Sometimes there is more at stake than the “free market” principles of a concept.
The current economic crisis that America finds itself in, is because the short-term profits were sought rather than the long-term stability of our financial markets.
This caused uncountable numbers of businesses to fail, unemployment to skyrocket, and a recovery period that even the optimists claim could take more than a decade.
That is a PERFECT analogy for the current state of na$car. Since brian france has taken control of the sport, he has chased the short term profits, and forsaken what generated the sport’s long-term stability and continued growth. This has led to decreased revenue (fans and sponsors leaving), teams failing and closing shop, a decrease in future talent being developed, and a lengthy recovery period that HASN’T EVEN STARTED YET!!!

The moral of the story, M.B., is that sometimes chasing a penny, can cost you a dollar. Oversight and regulations can help avoid that pitfall, for people not intelligent enough (you and brian) to see that the cost is greater than the return.

10/15/2010 09:50 AM

Cutting the purses sure isn’t helping. I enjoy seeing the cup drivers in the races and find it interesting that none of the young drivers have a problem with them being there.

Carl D.
10/15/2010 10:21 AM

When the only guys racing in the Busch series were Busch regulars and an odd Cup driver or two, I watched the Busch races, kept up with the Busch drivers, and enjoyed the series. There were always full fields, and decent sponsorships weren’t that hard for teams to come by. No one can look at the state of the Nationwide series today and honestly believe that it’s in better health than it was those days. The moonlighting Cup drivers haven’t really made much, if any, of a positive impact on the series’ health. Quite the opposite.

Guys like Bobby Labonte, Ward & Jeff Burton, and Martin Truex made a name for themselves in the Busch series. In those days, the series didn’t suffer due to the lack of star power, it MADE the stars. There’s no non-Cup marquee drivers in the Nationwide series today because, with the Cup drivers hogging the spotlight, there’s no chance for the Nationwide drivers to break out and make a name for themselves.

10/15/2010 10:33 AM

Nice article, I agree 100%. I don’t have a problem with limited Cup participation in Nationwide, but they should not be able to run for the Title. Maybe have an exception for a driver like Brad K who is a Cup rookie. Cup guys have always run a select number of Nationwide races, but 5-6 years ago Roush fundamentally changed things. They turned Nationwide into extra practice time for their young stars (Biffle, Edwards). Gibbs has followed suit, but at least K. Busch isn’t running a full schedule. Cup owners have dominated the series for a while, but they no longer let their young talent season there for a while. Edwards is the driver who really changed things because Roush put him straight into the Cup car in 2005 and he excelled. The the other teams followed suit. I hope NASCAR does something.

10/15/2010 10:56 AM

I quit watching the “cup light” series last year. And Robin, I don’t wine. I just walked away. One hell of a difference here. And I’ve been watching this sport that I love for three decades.

Vancouver Olympian
10/15/2010 11:21 AM

Question… how many of you watch AAA baseball or god forbid the CFL on television? My guess is very few. Thats exactly what the nationwide series is… a spot for young drivers to gain experience in bigger cars. I dont hear baseball fans complaining about fairness when a major-leaguer gets sent back down to the minors for some practice and training.

Just be grateful that you get to watch minor-league racing on TV at all and shut the heck up.

Jonesy Morris
10/15/2010 11:45 AM

NASCAR should stop recording Nationwide points for any driver that starts in more than 10 Cup races in the same year. The cup drivers could still race in Nationwide. The young rising stars could race for the championship.

10/15/2010 12:05 PM

Cup drivers or not, what is the point of the Busch/Nationwide series? Even if you take out the Cup guys, is it really worth watching? I’ve never thought so. Its still too much like watching Cup Light.

If they had very different cars and raced a different variety of tracks than Cup, MAYBE it would be worth watching. But if NASCAR is involved, then it will always suck.

Go watch ARCA or USAR.

10/15/2010 01:37 PM

NASCAR,ARCA,USAR,F1,World Rally.All have good racing.Shoot,Even Off Road is good.Just gotta be a fan and love it all!

10/15/2010 03:44 PM

Last I checked the NW series back in the 90’s was just fine with no Cup guys in the fields. Attendance wasn’t any worse than it is now and the series actually had an identity. I also don’t remember anyone whining (to use Robin’s word) because no Cup drivers were in it. People knew that this was a minor league series.

By the way Vancouver, no stars go down to the minor leagues in baseball unless they are injured. Probably should research that a little bit before you spew incorrect information.

This is BZ France’s creation allowing more and more Cup guys race. Its all about the money and he felt they would make more money if they were in the show. Judging by attendance, that is a big fail.

On a side note, I don’t have a problem with Kes and Logano (drivers who are a few years into the Cup series) going back to get some seat time. Its the driver like Kyle, Carl, Harvick, who have been in the Cup series for quite a while that don’t belong in that series at all.

10/15/2010 04:00 PM

This business of Cup drivers double-dipping DID NOT start with Greg Biffle. And Steve, it certainly DID exist in the 90’s. Mark Martin did it for years! But of course, Saint Mark never did anything harmful to the sport.

As for NNS being a proving ground for Cup drivers, that really isn’t true anymore. Mikey Waltrip kicked Trevor Bayne out of his ride and now Trevor appears to be planning a move directly to Cup. More and more, the truck races and NNS are for journeymen who can’t make it in Cup, plus the Cup regulars who want to race every day of the week. It’s all good as far as I’m concerned. How mcuh time do you think Austin Dillon, Ross Kenseth and Chase Elliott are going to waste in the minor leagues? The young talent is coming from elsewhere, but it will still get there.

Rather see Kyle and Brad and Kevin and Carl put on a show than see a wreckfest among the incompetents.

Don Mei
10/15/2010 04:10 PM

I used to really enjoy the old Busch series. It was great watching guys like Lajoie and Benson going for it. Mark Martin was a sometimes competitor but to the best of my knowledge he only ran a handful of events every year.Now of course its become Cup Light. Same guys every week with clearly superior equipment. I would let any cup driver who finished in the top 35 in Cup points the year before compete in no more than four or five events without getting any points. If the driver was out of the top 35 I would allow up to a dozen events. Then to make it REALLY interesting, I would institute a claiming rule equal to a calculated build cost for a Nationwide car plus 10%. That might stir things up a bit!

10/15/2010 04:48 PM

Alot of you say that Cup drivers should not be racing in the minor leagues. I might not have a problem if my Bristol Busch tickets did not COST ME MORE for the Minor league then the Cup. If i go watch a Minor league baseball or hockey game the ticket is less then 25% of the Major league price, not more expensive.

I believe a big part of the problem is the HUGE sanctioning fee’s and TV wanting the Cup drivers

10/15/2010 05:15 PM

If the cup drivers are really racing in Nationwide just because they love racing so much, they should be tickled to death to run for no money and no points. Just the opportunity to race and to help put butts in seats. I won’t hold my breath until that happens. I agree with everything you said except that Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick started the double duty thing after Earnhardt’s death in 2001, not Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle.

10/15/2010 06:12 PM

My memory of the Mark Martin years was that he drove just about ALL the companion Busch races during most of his Cup career.

As for drivers running for free, my understanding is that Kyle Busch took no salary for his truck races last season – I know that’s not Nationwide, but Billy Ballew is not JGR in terms of deep pockets. Also, regarding Kyle’s own truck team, he has said potential sponsors frequently want him in the truck, not his protege. You all, including Mr. Keith think this “problem” is easy to fix. It is not. Do you really think Nationwide or trucks is going to attract ANY viewers or ANY sponsors with no-name drivers? Not a chance. Those days are long gone. People want major league entertainment for their major league money.

Also Mr. Keith’s statistics on Cup champions running in NNS are skewed by the fact JJ wins all the Cup championships and has never run much – or run well – in NNS.

10/15/2010 10:24 PM

I Watch NNS FOR Keselowski.

10/15/2010 11:59 PM

Isn’t it amazing how fast people forget the past? It must be remembered that the Nationwide series is supposed to be its own touring series, despite similar schedules, drivers and cars to the Cup series. The Busch series had its own identity: series regulars, new young talent, and veterans winding down their careers. Even drivers that struggled in Cup took a step down to Nationwide. Grandstands were packed at places like South Boston, Hickory & Myrtle Beach. Sponsors flew into the series and this series grew. Eventually, the series gained network coverage at select events.

Into the 2000’s, NASCAR ‘re-aligning’ dumped most stand-alone races that identified the series. Cup drivers entered, since the schedule was convenient for them. The schedule grew larger and costs rose. Nationwide teams with smaller budgets & inexperienced drivers could not keep up with Cup money and Cup experience. How is it fair to tell owners that built the series to take their bat and go home if they can’t compete with the teams invading their series? Sponsors wanted results – so they wanted Cup drivers. This epidemic grew and development drivers were continuously brushed to the side if they did not produce great results immediately – in the series that is meant for their development. Busch series owners continued to lose the fight as NASCAR did nothing. So many underfunded teams are racing on used tires, and some resorting to the start & park to stay operating. Drivers like Stephen Leicht, despite a win and many top 10 finishes, could not get a full time ride due to no $ and not being a Cup driver.

Looking at 2011, the purse money looks to be slashed again, stand-alone races slashed and Cup drivers ignored. Why would you want to invest your money in this environment?

It is obvious what NASCAR needs to do: change the schedule and block full time Cup drivers from racing in the series. If they are struggling in Cup, that is their mistake – either take the full step back to Nationwide or drive better in Cup, no double-dipping. Live TV coverage will not vanish due to no Cup drivers – anyone watch the Truck series the past 5 years? Also, to those that tell others to quit whining – everyone is entitled to an opinion. If you don’t like it, that is fine, but it is ignorant to tell someone to ‘shut the heck up’.

phil h
10/16/2010 12:16 AM

thanks Matt.well said

10/16/2010 01:10 PM


I agree.

Don Mei
10/16/2010 03:13 PM

Mark Martin’s participation in Busch races ranged from 1 in 1982 to 27 in 1987. From 1992 to 1997 he ran about 13 races a year. After that he typically ran 5 or 6. Count me in Matt.

10/16/2010 04:38 PM

Well said Matt.

10/17/2010 09:51 AM

I agree they need to change the schedule of tracks that the Series visits.

Regarding Cup Regulars, how can you tell an NNS Owner like Junior, or Harvick that they can’t race in their own cars if they choose?

I would limit the number of races Cup regulars can drive to 3-4 times a year, and change the track schedule. Bring back places like Rockingham and North Wilkesboro.

10/17/2010 05:10 PM

Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide series reminds me of college guys who have thoughts of crashing the high school prom.

Who really is impressed when a Cup guy wins a race (with his extra funding, experience, etc)?

Might as well hand him the Prom King Crown to go along with the trophy (and the cash), as far as I am concerned.

10/18/2010 10:19 AM

Limit the Cup drivers to three races a year in NW. I’m tired of seeing the same 5 – 8 Cup names every week in the top ten in NW. Let the NW guys start bringing home the purse money they deserve for racing in that series and see how much better they fare financially.
I wonder what the points in NW would look like right now without the Cup drivers there? Would the NW drivers and/or the series be any better off with the added prize money? Something to think about.

10/18/2010 12:54 PM

The solution is simple, but NASCAR wouldn’t have the balls to implement it.

Either A) limit each full-time Cup driver to a maximum of 10-15 Nationwide races. They can still bring their sponsors, they can still fill in for rookie drivers, they can still show up to major races like Daytona and Montreal…

or B) they can run the full schedule, but they have to drive for a Nationwide-only team… Carl Edwards would have to drive for K-Automotive, instead of Roush, for example.

Either of these would solve both problems, and allow the series to return to its roots… Give it more standalone dates, more short tracks, and give the poor drivers and teams a chance to shine instead of being beaten down by The Man every weekend.

Kyle Busch’s records are a joke. Had he won all those races in the #32 car, or another NWS-only car, then it’d be impressive.

A Formula 1 driver showing up in a GP2 race with a car built by McLaren would be a joke, not an impressive performance.

I miss the days of Randy Lajoie, Mike McLaughlin and Tim Fedewa, and Dale Jr vs Matt Kenseth for the title. THAT was Busch Series racing.

10/20/2010 08:19 AM

DansMom- I don’t see how watching Danica finishing numerous laps down to the winner is going to fix the NNS.