A few years ago NASCAR forced drivers to race for points in just one series. The belief at the time was that by removing any chance of winning a championship that it would take the desire to race in lower levels away.
David Ortiz does not appear at Triple-A to add minor league home runs to his totals, so why would Cup drivers continue to race in the Nationwide Series?
Money and eyeballs. Much like the Sprint Cup Series, it’s fueled by dollars. Many Nationwide and Truck Series teams are underfunded without a big name in the seat. Teams owned by Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski often get requirements from sponsors to place the driver/owner in the car for a select number of races.
All the Cup Series drivers in lower level races has it’s consequences. They win. Their better funded organizations often outclass the rest of the field. Now NASCAR is considering a limit to the number of races in which these drivers can compete.
“We’re definitely aware of the fan messaging we get,”O’Donnell said, via the Associated Press. “There’s a balance, especially talking to the tracks, of having a Cup driver or two in the Trucks or Nationwide. … We have had discussions with the race teams about ownership and should Cup drivers get points and we’ve looked at should they be limited in the number of races. It’s something we are really studying.”
Limits? Some would argue a single Cup Series driver in any event is simply too many. NASCAR has itself in a difficult position trying to balance a minor league system while drawing large sums of eyes – and then dollars – to it.