NASCAR Needs to Limit Cup Series Drivers in the Lower Series

NASCAR Needs to Limit Cup Series Drivers in the Lower Series

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch has been absolutely dominating the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has also dominated the Camping World Truck Series races that he entered.

Kyle Busch’s dominance has brought into question the wisdom of allowing Cup Series drivers to step down a level or two and compete with those who have not attained their level of experience.

In the 2013 Nationwide Series season, Cup Drivers won 26 out of 33 races. Ex-Cup or part time drivers won 6 more, leaving only one Nationwide only driver Ryan Blaney to win a race. Just so we don’t put all the blame on Busch, he won only 12 of the 26 races won by Cup Drivers. He is one for two this year already.

There are two schools of thought about having Cup drivers in the lower series. The first one is that these races need to have some well known drivers in them in order to gain attention and sell tickets. There may be some truth to this but it probably doesn’t equate to that many more fans in the seats.

The second thought touted by the drivers in those series is that they gain valuable experience racing these Cup drivers. They also feel a huge amount of pride if they beat them. This doesn’t make sense because it is obvious they are not beating them. In fact, at the end of many races they are not even racing them, the front of the field is all Cup or Ex-Cup drivers.

What should NASCAR do about this?

One need only look back to 2003, when the Nationwide Series was called the Busch Series, to see what we had and perhaps what we could get back to. We had many different winners: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jamie McMurray, Joe Nemechek, Todd Bodine, Kevin Harvick, David Green, Matt Kenseth, Scott Riggs, Ron Hornaday, Jr., Bobby Hamilton, Jr., Jason Keller, Scott Wimmer, Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Sauter, Greg Biffle, and Kasey Kahne.

Sure this list looks like a list of Cup drivers—and it is—but there are some Busch drivers who won; 17 races out of 34 to be exact.

Digging deeper, there is one common thread: almost every Cup driver who won a race then had raced full time in the Cup Series for five or fewer seasons.

This is the solution that NASCAR should take. Allow Sprint Cup drivers to race in the Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series only in their first five years of full time Cup Series racing. It’s that simple.

The ultimate goal is for the lower series to have rivalries and followings all their own. Future Cup stars can be Nationwide stars or Camping World Truck Series stars. Cup drivers who lose rides can drop down to show they still have it to make it back. Having the drivers’ experience more matched will make these series more competitive, just like years past.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 295721 Chris Trotman/Getty Images

9 thoughts on “NASCAR Needs to Limit Cup Series Drivers in the Lower Series”

  1. Eithor one of these two things would put the brakes on Cup stars bottom feeding 1. claiming rule, “X” amount of dollars for the high dollar cars participating if a cup driver. This would put great cars into the hands of lesser funded teams. 2. As this ploy is used to get extra track time by cup teams, NO practice time and last pit selection in the cup cars if racing in the lesser series.

  2. Your solution would kill both series. The lack of big name Cup drivers would cause a big drop in sponsorships, viewership and attendance. Sponsors want exposure but many folks don’t attend or watch people that they don’t know.

    1. Many of us do not watch the lower series exactly because of the cup drivers. Noncompetitive is boring and boring is not entertaining so why watch. Who wants to see a high school kid dominate a little league team. Boring.

  3. Eliminate the need for them to race there and there will be less of them (Ie: stop having companion events, the trucks, nationwide and cup series shouldn’t be racing at the same track on the same weekend).

    Racefans attend races, but they also have a budget. If 150,000 people in Atlanta are willing to go to a race in 3 weeks, but there are 3 to choose from (Truck, Nationwide or Cup), how is that good for any series? the crowd at each is diminished. Now, take those 3 races and spread them out from March – October and those 150,000 fans may attend each one of those races and all series benefit.

  4. This is SOOOO simple! We all know that sponcers and viewership is Wayyy down! GET RID OF THE NATIONWIDE SERIES! Why on earth do we need two of the same thing (SPRINT and NATIONWIDE)
    Make the trucks the support class….now you would get rid of the drivers that really can’t compete in these classes. The best of the Nationwide guys move up or run trucks. The left overs then make ARCA better….
    SIMPLE!!! Of course France will never do this becouse of the money he makes.

  5. And while we’re at it lets get all the Sprint Cup drivers out of the race and give each contestant a gold star for trying. OH PLEASE. This is big boy racing. No one complained when Mark Martin ran the Winn Dixie Ford in the Busch series and won a large portion of the races he entered. And dude pay attention to reality. There are only 40 cars entered this weekend. Take out the Sprint drivers and there are less than 30. Real exciting race then huh?

  6. A cup driver can win the trophy, but not the money. Keep the money in the series and still allows the big names to compete and even win.

  7. Na$car should just be happy with any driver at all that bothers to show up for a Nationwide race. All of you ranting about Cup drivers stinking up the show should note there would not be much of a show without them. At Phoenix, despite 5 Cup drivers in the race, and a good handful of start an park drivers, they were still one car short of a full field. So, what, you think that 30 drivers nobody has heard of or is excited to see race would be a good show that fans would buy tickets to, or tune in on tv? And without fans in the bleachers or tv viewers those sponsorships for those full time guys you are all so worried about would dry up in a heartbeat. I’ll bet if you ask any of those full time guy if they’s rather race cup guys and have sponsors, or try to race without either, they’d take the former.

  8. IF Kyle Bush run in Nationwide and Truck series I turn off the race.
    To me he personally ruined both series.
    NO CUP drivers at all. when you get a race were there is 10 cup drivers. that is way too many.

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