Hey, Cup Drivers – Leave the Xfinity Series Alone

After NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers dominated three out of the last four races in the Xfinity Series, all translating to race wins, race fans have growing concern for the regulars of NASCAR’s #2 division. But when you factor in that Cup Series regulars have won sixteen out of twenty-three races this season in the feeder division, that statistic is certain cause for alarm. If it was not time before, it is time now – Cup drivers need to leave the Xfinity Series alone.

While you can never truly eliminate the crossover of drivers to different series, NASCAR attempted to limit the influence of that in 2011 by requiring drivers to declare what championship they would run for, that did not stop Cup Series regulars like Kyle Busch and Joey Logano from running as many Xfinity Series races as possible. And while there are added benefits to having those caliber of drivers race in those races, the detriments outweigh them largely.

When a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver invades a lower series, such as the Xfinity or even Trucks series, they are taking away golden opportunities for younger drivers or season regulars to win a race. These opportunities to win a race don’t just happen to everyone, or even happen regularly for that matter. Just ask Regan Smith or Brendan Gaughan how it feels to have a long winless streak. And when drivers like Kyle Busch among others come in and steal away these wins, they aren’t only taking trophies, but opportunities.

The opportunities in questions are chances to improve, to move up, and potentially land a big time ride. Opportunities that the men and women of the Sprint Cup Series have aren’t just handed out, but earned. So why is the opportunity for young guns like Daniel Suarez, Ben Rhodes, and even Brandon Jones limited by drivers who already have their tickets to the big show?

It is time for a change for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and even the Camping World Truck Series. And there is one simple way to make the change happen.

Limit Cup drivers to no more than ten races in each developmental series.

Now, on the surface this may appear to not entirely solve the problem. The argument can be made that Sprint Cup Series drivers can and would still win in the lower tiers. And that’s true, because there is simply no way to eliminate it entirely. Sponsors and teams need Cup drivers as ambassadors of the sport at all levels, and giving the opportunity to the Xfinity and Truck drivers to race against that caliber of talent is fairly unique as well.

However, imagine the amount of opportunities other drivers shall receive thanks to these limits. When you consider that six drivers thus far this season have already exceeded or will exceed that limit (Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Landon Cassill, J.J. Yeley, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson), that opens up more races for up and coming talent, as well as the possibility of teams running vehicles for series regulars.

That type of progress is already being made in small steps. Joe Gibbs Racing added a full-time team this year for rookie Daniel Suarez. Richard Childress Racing has three fully committed teams to championship contenders Brian Scott and Ty Dillon. And Roush-Fenway Racing may be doing the best at cultivating young talent, with no teams that are used for Cup regulars.

Change can happen in the #2 and #3 divisions of NASCAR, and it would help raise the careers and opportunities for so many young racers. They just need a chance to compete.

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