NASCAR issues new limits for Cup drivers in Xfinity and Trucks

NASCAR on Wednesday issued new rules vastly limiting the number – and which races – most Sprint Cup Series regulars can compete in its lower division Xfinity and Camping World Trucks series.

NASCAR issues new limits for Cup drivers in Xfinity and Trucks
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Race winner Aric Almirola, Ford
Race winner Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Race winner Kyle Larson, GMS Racing Chevrolet
Race winner Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Beginning in 2017, Cup series drivers with more than five years' full-time experience will be limited to a maximum of 10 races in the Xfinity series and seven events in the Truck series.

Cup drivers at that experience level will also be prohibited from participating in those two series’ final eight races of the season, which will including the cut-off races to make the respective Chase in those series as well as the Chase races themselves.

They will also be prohibited from participating in all Dash 4 Cash program races.

“The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, in a statement.

“These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.”

For years, many NASCAR fans have complained about Cup drivers overshadowing full-time Xfinity and Truck competitors in the lower series, although much of the consternation centers around reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch, who has dominated those series when he participates.

Since 2011, NASCAR has had rules that allow only full-time Xfinity and Truck drivers to earn championship points. And this season, Cup drivers in the previous year’s Chase were not allowed to run the season finales in the Xfinity and Truck Series. NASCAR has amended that provision to include any Cup drivers earning points in the 2017 season from participating in the 2017 Xfinity and Truck series championship races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Last week, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, Steve O’Donnell, said a change was coming “soon.”

“As the sport has evolved, we have more of a fan following in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series,” he said. “They like seeing those drivers come up through the ranks, and it’s our job to make sure that Xfinity is where names are made.”

 

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