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NASCAR Announces Changes To Cup Driver Participation Limits

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There is a growing contingent of fans who want to see fewer NASCAR XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series trophies collected by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars. Next year, that will likely happen a bit less often.

NASCAR announced on Tuesday that they will once again reduce the number of NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that full-time Cup drivers can participate in.

Starting in 2018, any drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be limited to a maximum of seven races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and five races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Any drivers, regardless of experience level, who are eligible for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points will be ineligible to compete in the regular season finale and playoff races in each series, as well as the Dash 4 Cash races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

The changes are part of a continuing effort to highlight the series regulars in the developmental series of NASCAR. The limitations began for the 2017 season, with drivers with five years of full-time experience in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series capped at 10 XFINITY Series races and seven races in the Camping World Truck Series.

NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Jim Cassidy talked about how the fans of the sport have been clamoring for such a change.

“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,” said Cassidy. “These guidelines achieve that and preserve limited opportunities for developing drivers to compete against the best in motorsports.”

Any drivers who are competing for the championship in either the NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are not included in the new guidelines, whether they have prior Cup experience or not.

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Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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8 comments

  1. Avatar

    I think they should stop worrying about the drivers and change the cars back to where they’re not similar to the Cup cars. Then the Busch races couldn’t be used as a test session for the Cup drivers. Another of Brian’s “brilliant” moves.

  2. Avatar

    No Cup Drivers? There go the car/truck counts. i can’t wait to watch the Playoff races with only 21 cars or less.

  3. Avatar

    Here is the rub. Game Stop, Discount tire, Hielmans and other sponsors connected to cup drivers have no interest in running in the back with Mike Harmon.

  4. Avatar

    ABOUT TIME!

  5. Avatar

    How about cup drivers have no affiliation with big teams. Save top tier rides for freshman and sophomore drivers. If the cup boys want to race, let them scrounge up their own sponsors, build their own chasis and engines in their own shop and they can race all they want. I know it will never happen because both lower series are on life support and need to be subsidized by the big teams, but here’s to dreaming.

  6. Avatar

    Kudos to Nascar. Good news, but this is just another baby step I think. I suppose it would be BAD to shock the system by jumping to strict regs. immediately, so I suppose gradually bumping up limitations is an admirable strategy.
    Point being, more limitations are needed. By the time you remove “chase” & “D4C” races, there will still be 4 – 5 – 6 or more very well funded corporate conglomerate team’s deploying exhibitionists at most of the marquee events. This [exhibition drivers] hurt event & series sporting integrity. Not nearly as much as “chases” & “stages”, but exhibitionists contribute to the lack of sporting integrity in the NXS & CWT. Exhibitionists also direct purse winnings & sponsors to corporate teams & away from small, developing & disadvantaged competitors who depend on it, & damn sure have earned & deserve it.
    Just saying, I think if there are NO limitations on Cuppers with less than 5 years experience, the limits on +5 year Cup vets ought’a be 5 NXS & 3 CWT, or 3 & 2. It seems like the limits of 7 & 5 won’t have an appreciable effect, since Jr. Cuppers do NO have limits. But I do appreciate the direction & intent.
    Also exhibition drivers should NOT count toward NXS Owner’s Points. There’s yer problem!

  7. Avatar

    Excellent. Having the cup drivers run the Xfinity races aren’t fair to the young drivers or the cup drivers who don’t run the Xfinity races (why should some Cup drivers get extra track time for practice via the Xfinity race?).