Should Cup Drivers be Allowed to Compete in Lower Divisions?

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier/OnPitRoad.com

This past Saturday Kyle Busch became the winningest driver in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series after taking the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The win allowed him to surpass Ron Hornaday with 52 victories.

It brings up an interesting question that keeps popping up every year. Should drivers be allowed to compete in more than one series at a time? Almost immediately, I heard fans complaining about Cup drivers competing in the Truck race.

Some fans will tell you that allowing drivers to cross series lines, especially Cup drivers competing in lower divisions, take opportunities away from younger drivers looking to move into the upper echelons of NASCAR.  Years ago, it was possible to win titles in more than one division. NASCAR then looked to limit things and drivers had to choose which division they want to accrue points in. They could compete in other divisions, but they would not earn points in that division.

In 2017, NASCAR started limiting the number of races a cup division driver could compete in at a lower level.  Drivers with five years of Cup experience were limited to 10 Xfinity and seven Truck series. Last year, NASCAR made it even tighter, limiting those drivers to seven Xfinity and five Truck races.

But if you ask the Xfinity and Truck drivers, a vast majority of them welcome the opportunity to race against the best drivers on the NASCAR circuit. It gives them an idea of what to expect to experience on the track when and if you make it up to the Cup Series. They also gain valuable experience learning first hand on the track the talent of those drivers. It also brings out the best in them knowing they are competing against a Cup driver.

Imagine the Yankees playing games against minor league teams. The minor league players are going to play harder just for the chance to beat the best team in the history of the sport.

Personally, I’m okay with Cup drivers crossing lines downward as long as the limitations are in place so that they aren’t competing full-time in both series. I do want to see younger drivers gain experience and move up to the next division when the time is right.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on topic: Should cup drivers be allowed to compete in Xfinity or Truck series races?

About Pete Noel 7 Articles
I am a NASCAR fan of 20+ years and credentialed photographer for Dover International Speedway. Ultimate goal is to become a NASCAR team photographer. You can see my photos either at my website (www.petenoelphotography.com) or on Instagram (@Pete92270).

14 Comments

  1. NO, NO, NO, NO Full time CUP drivers SHOULD NOT race in Lower the Lower Divisions — They for sure should not keep taking WINNING MONEY away from the Lower Driver teams..

  2. No
    It is the only sport where a upper class athlete can compete in the minors.
    Ever heard of Harper or Machado going freely up and down from AAA to AA to the majors in the same weekend.
    Give the up and comers some seat time, that’s why they have the minor leagues in all sports.

  3. the question I aski why is it ok for dale jr to race in a lower series he retired as a cup driver the big stars bring money to a much needed series I think it is just a kyle busch rule

  4. I have been a nascar fan for fifty years and do not like upper classes in lower races, it takes away chances for a new driver.

  5. No! The Cup drivers should NOT be allowed to race in the Xfinity series. The Truck series is different; it’s a whole different vehicle. I don’t mind Xfinity or Cup drivers driving in the Truck series. However, Cup drivers should not take winner money or trophies in Xfinity races, and should allow those drivers to compete in their own category. If these lower tier drivers wish to race against Cup drivers to test their talent against “the best,” NASCAR should create a race where Xfinity drivers race against those Cup drivers who choose to race.

  6. Most of the cup drivers stay within their series but Kyle
    bush would race in every division and take the money if he could, he said if they cut out any more races he would take his trucks and go home. Does this show you what a spoiled brat he is!

    • Thank you for your comment Jewel. Kyle builds and supplies a lot of the chasis in the truck division. The money to do so has to come from somewhere. In this case, from winning races in that division. That’s why Kyle threatened to leave the truck division of NASCAR cut down on the number of races, not because he a spoiled brat.

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