NASCAR announced Tuesday new limits on how many Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races Cup drivers will be able to compete in next season.
Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the Cup Series will be limited to seven Xfinity races, down from 10.
Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the Cup Series will be limited to five Truck Series races, down from seven races. Any driver who elects to score points in the Cup series, regardless of experience, will be prohibited from competing in the regular-season finale, playoff races and the Dash 4 Cash races in the Xfinity Series.
Ryan Blaney, who drives for Wood Brothers Racing in the Cup Series, was a guest on NASCAR America and shared his thought on the new restrictions. Blaney has five Xfinity wins, all of them coming with Team Penske. But Blaney is only in his second full-time Cup season.
“I think it is good and bad,” Blaney said. “The experience that you get is second to none. I got to race against Kyle Busch or (Brad) Keselowski or Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick whenever they came down there. It was really helpful to me to talk to them, No. 1 when you’re a young kid. To practice with them and race behind them and see what they do.”
Blaney admits it’s hard to bring in new and younger drivers into the Xfinity series when you have “a bunch of Cup drivers running every single race,” but that sponsor desire to have Cup drivers in cars makes it difficult.
“I don’t think you can cut them out completely, but if you do limit it I feel it would be better to give younger drivers trying to break into the sport a chance,” Blaney said.
Blaney said he doesn’t think Ryan Preece would have had the opportunity to race in and win the Xfinity event at Iowa Speedway last weekend if NASCAR had not already put a limit on Cup drivers.
Analysts Jeff Burton said the inclusion of Cup drivers in the lower series is a “double-edged sword” when it comes to developing young drivers.
“You have to have those guys to be able to gauge what you can do against them,” Burton said. “I see both sides of it but I still believe you have to have them in the series because it’s what makes the series special.”
Watch the above video on the new limits on Cup drivers.