On Thursday (April 22), Brett Moffitt became the second major driver to switch his points eligibility in the season. Moffitt switched his points eligibility from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the Xfinity Series. Because he has competed in all the Xfinity races thus far, he is playoff eligible. However, he starts with zero points, and he must finish inside the top 25 in the point standings at the end of the regular season as well as likely win a race.
Moffitt is confident in his decision as well as his ability to make the Xfinity Series playoffs. But he was nonetheless frustrated about NASCAR’s rule that drivers can only accrue points in one series and are limited to the number of respective starts per series based on their points eligibility.
“It’s just frustrating as a young driver in the developmental series,” he told Frontstretch. “It’s frustrating to be put in this situation, but it is what it is. The rule is there and we tried to navigate our way around it the best we could. But at this point in the season, it was something that we felt like we had to do.”
The rule by NASCAR was prompted due to chiefly Kyle Busch winning so many Xfinity and Truck races – he is the winningest driver in both series – and winning the 2009 Xfinity championship while competing full time in the NASCAR Cup Series. Remind me, then, why this rule needed to be changed.
Moffitt isn’t alone in his opinion. Autoweek motorsports editor Matt Weaver advocated for a change.
NASCAR's 'pick a series' rule is archaic now that there are other regulations to prevent Cup drivers from making 30 Xfinity starts.
A rule is a rule, but I hope its amended to allow Xfinity and Truck drivers the chance to double up.
It's beneficial to championship depth.
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) April 22, 2021
I disagree. Only twice since the establishment of the rule has there been a change in points eligibility that affects the series’ season outcomes.
Twice? Remind me again why this rule needs to be changed.
When Ross Chastain switched points to the Truck Series in 2019, he became the talk of NASCAR. After winning at Kansas Speedway while having not yet declared for Truck points and then winning at Iowa Speedway after moving his points allegiance but having his truck fail post-race inspection, Chastain wheeled his Chevrolet to a win in the next race at World Wide Technology at Gateway and then again at Pocono Raceway, ultimately finishing second in the championship standings despite not earning points in the first few races.
Chastain provided a memorable storyline and an unforgettable year. His success arguably overshadowed winless wonder Matt Crafton’s title. For the third time, please remind me why this rule needs to be changed.
Sure, Moffitt now has the opportunity to go win races — shining the spotlight onto second-year Xfinity team Our Motorsports — and compete for the Xfinity championship. It will be a challenge, but Moffitt is the 2018 Truck champion. That pressure will not faze him. He has a clear mindset on his goals: win.
“It’s gonna take a win,” Moffitt told Frontstretch. “We’re pushing all our chips in here and going after it, but I really feel like we can win. And I feel like we can progress through the playoffs if we win in time. Obviously, points-wise, you’re probably not going to get there this late in the season.”
Will Moffitt’s clear determination net him a win? He lacks one in the Xfinity Series, but he has competed in all three main NASCAR series and he has 12 Truck victories. I would not bet against him; his realism might allow his team to gamble to snatch a win.
Yes, there would be storylines if drivers were able to compete for more than one series championship. However, as Kyle Busch and Cup stars proved, it ultimately would face criticism.
Instead, with the current rule, there are two separate Championship 4s. That is eight stories to follow on the final race weekend.
For the final time, remind me why this rule needs to be changed.