Welcome to another edition of “Ask the Crew Chief,” where I answer your questions for me about a topic in NASCAR. The following questions were asked by J.t. Fletcher. (It’s pretty much a Q & A.)
J.t. Fletcher (J.F.) “What is your take on Sprint Cup drivers in the lower series, and should they be banned from both series next year?”
Ashley Schindler (A.S.) We all know that I’m opinionated on this topic; but isn’t everyone? I don’t think the Cup drivers should be banned; just not allowed to race in the lower series all the time. It’s one thing if they want to race once, maybe twice, in say the Nationwide Series, but they shouldn’t be allowed to run almost all of the races, taking wins away from series regulars. I think the Nationwide and Truck drivers need to win in their own series first, that way they can show they are, in fact, capable of winning, before they move up to Cup.
J.F. “Should they put a limit on Cup drivers on how many races they should run in the lower series?”
A.S. Absolutely! Ideally they could have the opportunity to run fewer than five races since the Truck and Nationwide Series’ schedules are shorter.
J.F. “Would that limit be issued to the drivers of Nationwide who run in the Truck Series and the other way around?”
A.S. I think it would only be issued to the Cup drivers since they are the ones dominating in the lower series. If a Nationwide or Truck Series driver wanted to race in a few races in a higher series sporadically during the year, not for points, it would be fine just so he/she could get a feel of the cars and the competition.
J.F. “Since I talked to Jeffrey Earnhardt in New Orleans, I asked him how he felt about the Cup guys running in the lower series. He said they help them learn; but as we see and hear, it basically looks like the Cup drivers say, ‘Get out of my way, Rookie. I want the money.’ What do you think?”
A.S. I could see both points of view. In some ways, if they can’t win against the Cup drivers now, they may have a hard time later, but I also think that the Cup drivers have somewhat of an unfair advantage since they’ve been to almost all of the tracks before.
I just wanted to say thank you to J.t. for submitting these questions. Now you all know my perspective on Cup drivers in the Nationwide and Truck Series.