NASCAR has cracked down on Cup Series drivers competing in Xfinity Series and Truck Series races by imposing even stricter limits for next year.
Before the 2017 NASCAR season ended, NASCAR announced that they would be further limiting the participation of full-time Cup Series drivers in Xfinity Series and Truck Series races ahead of the 2018 season.
In the 2017 season, Cup Series drivers with five or more seasons of full-time experience in the Cup Series were permitted to compete in as many as 10 Xfinity Series races and seven Truck Series races.
Ahead of the 2018 season, these limits were reduced to seven Xfinity Series races and five Truck Series races.
These limits stayed in place for the 2019 season, but now they are set to become even stricter as they pertain to experience and participation in Xfinity Series races.
Beginning next season, Cup Series drivers with three or more seasons of full-time experience in the Cup Series will be permitted to compete in as many as five Xfinity Series races and five Truck Series races.
Limitations that were already in place that have not changed include the fact that these drivers will not be allowed to compete in the regular season finale or playoff races in either the Xfinity Series or the Truck Series, and they will not be allowed to compete in the races that are a part of the Dash 4 Cash in the Xfinity Series or the Triple Truck Challenge in the Truck Series.
Here is what NASCAR senior director of racing operations Meghan Miley had to say about these updated limitations, according to NASCAR.
“We’ve made small tweaks since then, and this is third tweak, but the goal is to find a happy medium or that sweet spot where it works for all of our stakeholders.
“We hear from the fans that we need to get Cup drivers out of Xfinity and Trucks, and they want to just see the regulars, but we hear from the younger drivers that, ‘Hey, we want to race against these guys because they make us better.’
“We also work with all the teams within the garage to make sure it’s working with the way they run their businesses, so we really loop in all of our stakeholders to get all of their feedback.”
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With four races remaining on the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season schedule, we could still see participation by Cup Series drivers in Xfinity Series races. In fact, Kyle Busch is slated to compete in the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is the penultimate race of the regular season. However, the Truck Series playoffs have already begun.
The opening race of the 2020 Truck Series season, the NextEra Energy 250, is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 14, and the opening race of the 2020 Xfinity Series season, the NASCAR Racing Experience 300, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 15. Both races are set to be contested at Daytona International Speedway.