Come next season, there’ll be further limits to the number of races Cup drivers may run in the lower tiers.
NASCAR announced today that starting in 2018, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, with more than five years of driving experience, will be limited to seven non-playoff race starts in the XFINITY Series and five in the Camping World Truck Series. For playoff races, all Cup drivers, regardless of experience, will be barred from running any of the playoff races. The latter rule is also in play for all four XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash races.
This cap is down from 10 XFINITY starts and seven Truck starts that was put in place for this season.
Rumors on possible changes had circulated since the possibility of changes were hinted at by XFINITY Series Managing Director Wayne Auton at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 21. NASCAR Executive Vice-President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio a few days later that talks on the matter were “pretty far down the line.”
The guidelines were implemented because of fan feedback on Cup interlopers in XFINITY and Truck competition, according to NASCAR Senior Vice-President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy.
“Any time we implement a change, we’re going to monitor it closely and make sure we’re measuring the level of success or making sure that if there’s an opportunity to make it even better, then we will,” Cassidy told NASCAR.com. “In this case, we really like what we’ve seen and in talking with all the other stakeholders that we would normally talk to, this has been a very popular subject over a long period of time.
“We’re certainly excited to see what happens during the playoffs, but based upon the feedback that we’ve had, we were fortunate enough not to have to wait till the playoffs to come up with this next round of limitations. It’s good, it’s working in all respects, and this next layer just provides additional opportunity to focus on those drivers coming up through.”