NASCAR to further limit Cup drivers in Xfinity, Truck Series in 2018

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NASCAR announced guidelines that will further limit Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the Monster Energy Cup Series will be limited to seven Xfinity races next year. Those drivers are allowed to run 10 races this year.

Cup drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the Monster Energy Cup Series will be limited to five Camping World Truck Series races. Those drivers are allowed to run seven races this year.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday that any driver who elects to score points in the Cup series, regardless of their experience in that series, will be prohibited from competing in the regular-season finale, playoff races and the Dash 4 Cash races in the Xfinity Series. The change is that drivers with less than five years of Cup experience are allowed to run all Xfinity races this season except the championship race in Miami.

Drivers who score points in the Cup series, regardless of experience, will be barred from competing in the regular-season finale and the playoff races in the Camping World Truck Series.

“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 Jim Cassidy, senior vice president of racing operations, in a statement. “These guidelines achieve that and preserve limited opportunities for developing drivers to compete against the best in motorsports.”

NASCAR’s change to further limit Cup drivers in the Dash 4 Cash races is not surprising because Cup drivers were still dominating that event and the Xfintiy Series. Cup drivers won three of those four races this year – Erik Jones won at Bristol and Kyle Larson won at Richmond and Dover. Justin Allgaier was the only Xfinity regular to win a Dash 4 Cash race with his victory at Phoenix.

NASCAR signaled last month at Indianapolis that change was coming. Even with the participation guidelines for this season, Cup drivers won 11 of the first 13 Xfinity races this season.

Kevin Harvick was vocal about the proposal last month on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show “Happy Hours,” saying:

“They want to take this Xfinity Series and they want to make it into Xfinity drivers only,” Harvick said. “Well, guess what? If you don’t race against the Cup guys and you don’t have that experience on a weekly basis of learning what those Cup guys are doing to run fast and how this sport works, all that is going to happen is you’re just going to struggle longer when you get to Cup. You’re not going to have all the tendencies of the things that you need just racing against Xfintiy drivers that don’t have all the experience that Cup guys get.

“And oh by the way. Those Xfinity sponsorships? Most of those sponsorships are tied to a Cup guy. If they dropped these races to five races like they’re talking to next year, we’ll have to cut two races. There’s probably a million dollars tied to those two races in sponsoring the race, associates on the Cup car, personal services contracts, so there is a lot of money on the line.

“So when you look at a Ryan Preece gets to run a Joe Gibbs car (as he did last weekend at Iowa, winning), he got that opportunity because they want to run that car full-time and obviously they’re getting enough money from the races that Denny Hamlin runs and Erik Jones runs and Kyle Busch runs to charge the top dollar.”

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