Just Ban Them Already

Jan. 2011

Rule: NASCAR announces drivers must “pick a series” in order to run for a championship.

Quote: “We think it’s worth it in order to promote and create more of a clearer understanding on the difference between Sprint Cup and Nationwide races or Camping World races. The attention and the identity of the developing drivers we think is expedited with this move.” — Mike Helton.

Jan.  2016

Rule: NASCAR announces the 16 Chase drivers from 2015 are ineligible to run the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in order to put an emphasis on Xfinity and Truck regulars in the new championship race format.

Quote: “Many people like the idea that it’s unique that our best drivers get to compete with our up‑and‑coming drivers. Others, not so much. But we like it in general. It’s part of who we are. …. So we’ve had to modify it a little bit, of course, with changing the formats around. But generally speaking, that’s kind of where we stand.” — Brian France.

Oct. 2016

Rule: NASCAR announces Cup drivers with more than five years of experience can race in 10 Xfinity events and seven Truck events in 2017, but cannot compete in any playoff races or Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races. In addition, drivers who get Cup points (regardless of experience level) cannot compete in the Xfinity or Truck races at Homestead.

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


Rule: NASCAR announces Cup drivers with more than five years of experience can race in seven Xfinity events and five Truck events in 2018, but none of the playoff races, regular season finale or Xfinity Dash 4 Cash races — a limit which also now extends to all Cup drivers regardless of experience level.

Quote: “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. These guidelines achieve that and preserve limited opportunities for developing drivers to compete against the best in motorsports.” — Jim Cassidy.

In the future, maybe next year

Rule: Another baby step toward solving the problem instead of actually just banning Cup drivers from running lower-series races altogether.

51 Replies to “Just Ban Them Already”

  1. It used to be worth the cost of motel room and meals for an extra night to watch the cup stars duke it out on Saturday. Now the fan has to figure out if he wants to buy the gas, drive in Sunday morning, buy an expensive cup ticket and drive home after the race… or watch it at home on the 60″ in the AC.

  2. It will be interesting to see if fans make it “clear” through their attendance (or non-attendance) at the races w/o Cup drivers. Personally I think attendance will fall.

    1. I can honestly say that nothing they do will raise my probability of attending an Xfinity race, but the probability that I will watch an Xfinity race on TV goes up significantly if there are no Cup drivers in the field.

    2. I bought a $20 ticket from a scalper for the February Daytona race and sat in the 400’s with about 20 other people. Attendance cant get much worse than it is already. Its been clear for a number of years that the cup guys in Xfinity arent a draw.

  3. 19 races into the 2017 Xfinity season.
    6 wins by series regulars (if you include Ryan Preece).
    This is a sh*tshow.

    Names are made here (when the Cup drivers are banned)
    Names are made here (when it’s a standalone race)
    Names are made here (when the cup guys wreck out)

    As long as there are Cup Regulars in a race, I WILL NOT spend any of my money to attend the race. I will turn the race on at some point on TV, but if it’s a Cup Regular leading, I’ll turn it off.

    This product is broken, and NASCAR needs to just keep the Cup Regulars out.

  4. We only watch the xfinity races that include the cup drivers. Don’t even bother without them as we don’t follow / aren’t fans of any of those drivers.

    1. …and watching those races w/o cup drivers will make you aware and maybe make you a fan.

      It’s like going to the local short track. I don’t know who any of the guys are, but the action is good, and I’ll buy a program and find out who they are before the night is over. Then I become a fan and come back.

  5. Lower the number won’t necessarily lower the number of Cup drivers. Dale Jr. said in his podcast, he will just hire more Cup drivers that will each drive less races.

    1. This was the theory last year when those rules were introduced but it hasnt happened and it wont happen next year.

  6. I’ll never buy another Xfinity ticket. If I want to watch a bunch of has been and never will be ,I’ll go to my local track for a lot less money

  7. The advertising by the local promoter always promotes the biggest name drivers who compete. Otherwise you might as well say “come spend your money to see the guys who will some day be good enough for the top series!” OOOHHH where do I buy tickets for THAT?!

  8. I prefer to see the cup regulars run some Xfinity and Truck races. That said…I’m sick and freakin tired of hearing about it. Hasn’t been a new argument in years. Some crap recycled forever. If banning them is what it takes for this topic to go away I’m past ready…

  9. Are you going to watch a race, or a name above a door? I think the answer is more cup driver accessible at the track Saturday’s, get them out in the concourse signing autographs and taking pictures.

  10. Dale Jr said it himself, Xfinity teams are just going to hire more cup drivers to run their cars – now instead of 2 Cup regulars, they’ll just have 4. For example, Penske will give 7 races to Keselowski, Logano, Blaney, and potentially Menard now rather than 10 to Keselowski and Logano, and giving Blaney whatever was leftover that he could run.

  11. Nascar should not only ban Cup drivers from racing in the lower tier races but should limit the Cup tracks that those races are held. I believe that attendance would go up if those races were held at facilities that normally don’t hold Nascar events.

    1. This is one of the best ideas i have seen yet. Might be a way to help save the local tracks like Nashville Fairgrounds. After all that is where the Truck series started.

  12. No Cup drivers in cars gives drivers like Ryan Preece n’ Bubba Wallace a car to drive. It also will draw fans/crowds. I like the idea. It’s a job application for the Monster Energy Series let them work for it.

  13. I’m happy about this. I watch Cup races for Cup drivers. I watch Xfinity races for Xfinity drivers. Half the problem with NASCAR is over saturation, and this reduces the two series competing against one another.

  14. Just Ban them. If not they will just figure out a way to get around it. The only people who like cup drivers in it are KB fans.

  15. The last 2 years I literally, hand to God, if I see a Cup driver in the Xfinity Race or Truck race, just cancel the recording or delete it immediately. I don’t care if it turns out to be the greatest race in the history of motorsport, I refuse to watch a Cup series driver just ruin the race and steal a win and prize money from an up and coming driver. Some of you can yell to the sun and moon that forcing the Cup drivers out will hurt viewership but there are a LOT of people like me who will tune back in with less Cup drivers in the minor leagues..

  16. I learned how good Ryan Blaney is by watching Xfinity races. Learned how good John Hunter Nemechek is by watching truck races. I will turn off both if it becomes a cheering session for a Cup driver. I watch Cup races to see drivers who are supposed to be the greatest run against each other. Do not care to see one Cup driver smear the field in lower series. Ban them all.

  17. Banning Cup drivers certainly can’t do much to hurt attendance…they is hardly anyone in the stands now. Who wants to buy a ticket to se Kyle Busch outrun 90% of the field? The Busch Series used to stand on it’s own, with drivers there earning their own fans. Maybe the Cup drivers should be limited to driving one ofs for teams that aren’t out of the Cup garage. Let’s see how they do driving a car that doesn’t have all the latest and greatest going for it.

    1. >>Who wants to buy a ticket to see Kyle Busch outrun 90% of the field? <<

      The casual fan who only knows the Cup drivers.

      I imagine if us hardcore NASCAR fans invested as much interest and passion in following sprint cars we might also get upset about Larson beating up on them.

      Our biases are showing.

    2. How many wins does Mark Martin, Dale Sr, Dale Jr, Harry Gant have in the Saturday series?It has never stood on its own, there have always been Sunday drivers in the Saturday series.

      1. Yes, and 90% of them back in the day owned their own cars and teams. It wasn’t Cup owners pumping 100x more money into their Busch series cars just to whip up on the younger guys, it was Cup guys starting and owning their own teams and equipment racing there.

  18. Problem is this: if the TEAMS benefit, it will continue. They will just redistribute the “guest star” slots to other drivers on the team. So Kyle Busch can only do 7. Fine. So if I’m Gibbs, run one car with a star, and one car with a “future” star. Then a third if I have money for it. When Kyle has exhausted his races, then Hamlin, or Suarez become the “guest star” drivers.

    Cup teams have an interest in doing this. Especially on shared dates. While the rules are a “little” different, the basic cars are not that much different in a practical sense. And often things like the tires are the same. And look at Toyota – they even run the SAME body design in both, within the rules. Wonder how much the rules actually detune a NXS Camry vs. a MENCS Camry.

    As long as that is the case, it will continue. Take next year. If they go to the same restrictor, bigger spoiler, nostril ducts on Cup like they used on Xfinity (and can be expected to keep it there) you don’t want to bet a LOT of Cup drivers will pencil that one in??? You bet!

    1. You just actually hit on the biggest reason that Cup drivers should not be allowed to run in Xfinity races, it gives them an unfair advantage because they get lots of extra track time. Ever thing that maybe the reason Busch went a year without winning a race is because if he doesn’t get that extra time he doesn’t have an advantage?

  19. I like watching the regulars battle it out, that does not happen when KB is running 10s ahead of the rest of the pack. While I wish they could ban them completely right now, I know with sponsorship deals, etc. it has to be a slow retreat from allowing them to race.

  20. I watch to see the best duke it out, not just current stars or up and comers. I like the not so known in cup and the well know stars in cup dropping down. If the cup guys can run other series, ARCA, Wheelan, late model, etc., I don’t see the difference. In short, I want to see the best available drivers to participate when possible.

    1. OK so let’s take this argument to the extreme. If all the Cup drivers ran both races every week, what would be the point of the Xfinity series at all?

  21. I’m gonna watch and attend the Xfinity and Truck series regardless of who runs in the race. I am a fan of many of those drivers and will be if they move up to Cup. I’d rather see only series regulars in the race, but I do enjoy seeing one of them beat all the cup drivers, well, when it happens…… I understand sponsors may only want to sponsor when one of the cup drivers is in the car. For this reason I do believe they should be able to be in a few races. I think 7 and 5 is a good number.

  22. We are letting our biases show. We are all hardcore NASCAR fans who follow the Xfinity and Trucks series. The casual NASCAR fan does not follow the lower series so when they pay attention they don’t know the drivers unless they are from Cup.

    Who does NASCAR need to win to its stable for the health of the sport overall? Hardcore fans or casual? They want to win the casual fan over. They want to turn the casual fan hardcore.

    Then they can begin complaining about the Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Trucks too.

  23. While were at it, let’s also ban Cup drivers from driving open-wheel, sprint-cars, modifieds, late-models, etc. Fair is fair.

  24. I quit watching Xfinity and CWTS if cup drivers are in it. There is nothing exciting about watching cup drivers dominate a lower series.

  25. 2017 Cup driver wins in Xfinity so far —

    3 – Kyle Larson
    3 – Kyle Busch
    2 – Erik Jones
    1 – (each) Logano, Keselowski, Blaney, Hamlin, Almirola

    Wins by Xfinity Series regulars – 6 (including Preece)

  26. This is so easy to fix. Let them run however many races they want. But the highest finishing series regular gets all of the points benefits of winning the race. Just count the regulars… Why is this so hard?

    1. to add to that, let the regulars get all the payout too. I think it would be self cleaning that way. Then the cup guy’s can race and get all that “extra track time” I keep hearing about because we all know it’s not about the money, or the nascar records, it’s the track time…. right? Yeah and Morgan Fairchild’s my wife…. that’s it.

  27. Just ban the Cup regulars. When they are in an XFinity race it is a David vs Goliath situation. Real race fans want to see the new up-and-comers perform against each other……enough said.

  28. I no longer but weekends tickets to homestead. I have since 2011…. But not anymore. I only go to races to see Kyle Busch race. Instead of spending $500 on tickets this year, I paid $55 for some cheap tickets bc my husband wanted to see Jr’s last race. We probably won’t go back.

  29. I’m all for limiting the Cup regulars from Xfinity racing, but that isn’t the REAL problem here.

    I seem to remember when Kyle Busch ran his own Xfinity car garage and was “separate” from JGR. (How separate he was, I do not know) Anyway, he had a lot of trouble fielding cars that wre better than the rest of the Xfinity field back then.

    As soon as he jumped back in to JGR built and engineered Xfinity cars, he went back to winning all the time in that series. Take him out, you say?………..

    Then you’ll get what happened at Iowa Speedway last weekend. Ryan Preece had a car that was the class of the field, and guess who came in second? Yeah, another JGR car driver. Only the Junior Motorsports teams, and maybe Penske, have any shot at beating the JGR cars these days, regardless of the driver.

    The problem with Xfinity is that you have these mega-funded, top tier teams with maybe nine cars that have a shot at winning on any given weekend. Then you put a Cup regular in one of those nine or so cars and well, the “regulars” haven’t got a prayer. Cup is similar, but at least you have a somewhat rotating cast of characters that can win on any given weekend, and more than one dominant team.

    Banning Cup regulars from driving solves a part of the problem, but you’ll still have the JGR cars driving circles around the rest of the field.

    Somehow I’d like to see the top tier Xfinity teams regulated and the rest of the teams elevated. Limit/ban Cup drivers, and then see how things shake out.

    But maybe that’s just to much like IROC………..

  30. A Cup driver in Xfinity race doesn’t necessarily make a good race. When cars can pass and driver’s will do so…. that’s what makes a good race.

  31. Bye Bye Truck Series. If Kyle and Brad decide it’s not worth losing $1 million annually to fund truck teams…5 more trucks will be gone, not to mention 5 young potential future stars driving these trucks. With the demise of Red Horse Racing that is 7 fewer trucks. Why fund a team that loses money if the series doesn’t want you? And I haven’t even started to talk about the lessening value for sponsors in the Truck series. I give the truck series less than 5 years!

    1. While Kyle may pull his truck, I’m pretty sure Brad hasn’t raced in the truck series since he finally got a win there. And starting this year, Ford is working with him to develop young drivers, so that’s probably gonna help him keep that operation open.

      And if Kyle closes his, someone’s getting some good people and trucks, so that’ll help them as well.

    2. This is the real issue with cutting them out. I’ve been saying it for years….. Sponsors pay money for the whole season IF (insert cup driver here) does x amount of races. No funding, no team.

      1. Then, Nascar should be cut the costs of the lower series. They will be put budget limits.
        D’you see Scott Dixon run Indy Lights? Or Sebastian Vettel run GP2?

  32. That quote by Baby Huey France above follows his typical, garbled, unintelligible dreck….what a farce….

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