The Pros, Cons and Solutions for Cup Drivers in Nationwide Series

Photo Credit: Mike Holtsclaw

Low and be hold, four races into the season and this is the topic that everybody has to been discussing. And honestly – can you blame them? So without further a do, let’s discuss the pros and cons of Sprint Cup Series drivers doing the double, as well as possible solutions to the problem.

Positive: Racing with Sprint Cup Series drivers gives the Nationwide Series regulars more experience. They’re allowed to pick upon what the big boys are doing to therefore improve their racing. 

Negative: Sprint Cup Series drivers are dominating the top positions of the race results. Therefore, it gets annoying to see them dominate as clearly as they do against the little guys. It’s sort of like taking candy from a baby.  As a result, certain fans have stated that they will not watch the races.

Positive: NASCAR says the Sprint Cup Series drivers bring star power to the series and bring more fans. Those loyal to Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and others are more likely to watch the Nationwide Series race if their driver is in it.

Negative: Many fans have disagreed with NASCAR’s sentiment that there would be less fans watching the series. Thy say that more would watch as reason stated above. Those who currently watch say they’ll continue watching as they like the series regulars beyond their favourite Cup stars. By saying that people won’t watch the series as much, you’re not giving guys like Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler, Brian Scott, Trevor Bayne and others enough credit.

Negative: Highly seeding the frontier positions with drivers of this nature doesn’t allow the smaller guys to build a name for themselves with the funding that they have versus the Sprint Cup Series drivers/teams. If they can’t build a name for themselves, how can they increase their funding and move up?

Negative: Cup drivers running races is taking opportunities away from other drivers to get a shot with those teams in those cars.

Positive: Sprint Cup Series drivers are able to attract sponsors and bring them to the series, therefore increasing the overall value of the series.

Negative: Wouldn’t it be worthwhile for a Nationwide Series regular to get that sponsorship over a Sprint Cup Series driver? These are the drivers that need these deals to get the rides to get the experience and perhaps become big stars one day.

Solutions:

1. Ban Sprint Cup drivers running with Sprint Cup Series teams: If you notice, drivers that dominate seem to dominating because of running with their Sprint Cup Series team – Kyle Busch with Joe Gibbs Racing, Brad Keselowski with Team Penske. However, drivers who aren’t running with their Cup team, don’t dominate. One of those examples would be Dale Earnhardt Jr., or even when he puts Kevin Harvick in his cars. Do you see JR Motorsports dominating? No. Another example was Kyle Busch driving his own equipment for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch didn’t even come close to the domination numbers that he currently has with JGR during that time.

2. Limit the amount of races that Sprint Cup Series drivers can run in Nationwide: So the benefits of the drivers showcase – racing with experience, drawing more eyes to the broadcast. Also, JR Motorsports President Kelley Earnhardt says they get Earnhardt to run a race with a sponsor, so therefore the sponsor will be on Regan Smith’s car for five to 10 races that season. Therefore, in an effort to find a balance, some have suggested the series officials setting a limit. Allow the Cup drivers to run five to 10 races a year – maximum. That way they can’t run the same driver in the a car all year and it opens the door for another driver to get an opportunity.

Whether NASCAR wants to recognize it or not, there is a problem currently as more fans continue to express anger and as the anger grows, look for attendance and the television audience to dwindle. If that dwindles, than the series may be in more trouble than ever.

Please take the time and respond with your thoughts on the topic at hand as OnPitRoad.com’s staff is curious – what are your thoughts on the issue?

About Ashley McCubbin 3102 Articles
Joining OnPitRoad.com mid-2013 season, Ashley McCubbin is now the Managing Editor and contributes to each racing division as needed. Since studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber, Ashley has published articles on a couple of different websites, while serving as a public relations representative for different short track teams. Born in North York, Ontario, Ashley currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area. She has spent her entire life at the short track level, falling in love with the sport at the age of five. Beyond her love of short track racing, she also has grown an interest for both NASCAR and the IndyCar Racing Series. She also enjoys taking photos and working on websites, while playing a couple rounds of Candy Crush afterwards.

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