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NASCAR should cancel the rest of the Nationwide Series season

By admin | July 15, 2009


By Richard Allen

Seriously, what is the point of having the Nationwide Series?

Every race run in the Nationwide Series this season with the exception of the rain shortened event in Charlotte has been won by a Sprint Cup driver driving for a Sprint Cup team or a team with strong Sprint Cup affiliation. Only Mike Bliss, who had just enough fuel in his tank to coast to the rain at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway, has been able to beat the Cup guys in a Nationwide race.

When I first started planning for this column I originally considered counted Brad Keselowski as Nationwide regular. But, he has won a Sprint Cup race this season and he essentially drives for Hendrick Motorsports. To count him among the smaller teams with budgets less than half of that his team has seemed a bit out of sorts. If he is not included among the Nationwide regulars, the statistics sway even further in favor of the drivers from the top series.

All the Nationwide Series serves to do now is provide a warm-up for the Sprint Cup race of the next day.

In this past weekend’s Nationwide race in Chicago, Sprint Cup drivers claimed seven of the top-10 finishing positions. The previous week in Daytona was even worse as Sprint Cup drivers captured nine top-10 spots. As a matter of fact it is virtually a certainty that Sprint Cup regulars will take at least seven top-10 finishing positions in any Nationwide Series race that is run as a weekend companion to a Sprint Cup event.

Once upon a time this series was more than just a filler event to be run the day before a Sprint Cup race. The series had numerous stand alone races run on tracks the bigger series did not go to. Now, only nine races are run on tracks not shared with the Sprint Cup Series.

This week in St. Louis serves as one of those rare occasions in which the series will break free from its big brother. And with the big league drivers taking advantage of their last week off before a long stretch run to the finish, the Nationwide regulars may actually have a chance to shine.

But when I say shine, I actually mean they will not be totally rooted out of the top-10. The likes of Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch will still show up as they chase the equivalent of a minor league championship. And, one of them or one of their Sprint Cup counterparts who decides to join them will win barring an unforeseen happening like the one that occurred in Charlotte earlier this year.

The Nationwide Series has ceased to function as a stand alone series. It merely serves as an extra practice session for Sprint Cup drivers and teams. For that reason and because the results are a foregone conclusion, I half jokingly, half seriously say NASCAR would be just as well off to cancel the rest of the season in this series.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

13 Responses to “NASCAR should cancel the rest of the Nationwide Series season”

  1. ed larrivee Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 6:15 am

    i have always said anybody in the top 25 should not be aloud to drive in the nationwide series

  2. Charles Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Richard I think the main reason they have Sprint Cup drivers is to draw a better crowd! If there is a Edwards, Harvick etc that will have better name recognition thus a larger fan base!

    As far as doing away with it, the truck series even through it has some good racing, is the first one that needs to go in my opinion! Very small crowds usually and with most of the manufactuers leaving, except Toyota!

  3. Colin Baird Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 7:07 am

    The Truck Series may have small crowds and little or no support from the manufacturers, but it has by far, the best racing in any of the NASCAR Series.
    Real race fans don’t care about how big or small the crowds are, and they don’t give a crap about which make of trucks are in the races. Real Race Fans just want to see good racing, and that’s what the Truck Series gives them.
    The Sprint Cup Series is nothing more than professional wrestling on wheels. It’s all about money, attitudes and egoes. As long as the ‘Car Of Tomorrow’ is involved, the racing will continue to suck.
    The Nationwide Series is nothing more than an extra practice session for the egotistical Sprint Cup teams and drivers.
    If you are a real race fan, go to a Truck Series race or to your local race track.

  4. Terri Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    There is one simple way to fix the problem. Drivers can only receive points in one series.

  5. Dave Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    they should start any cup regular at the back regardless of his qualifying laps. it certainly would make for a more interesting race watching them come from the back. maybe kyle and carl and joey wouldn’t stink up the show anymore.

  6. Shawn Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    My opinion is, when travelling to a race weekend, I only pay to see the Busch race. Reasoning…because of the Winston Cup driver complement, the cars look like cars, not Grand Am cars, I still might get to see Cup qualifying and/or practice, as well as sit wherever the he!! I want. Best bang for the buck. Screw Sunday afternoon race traffic

    PS I only go to SMI tracks

  7. Justin Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I have to laugh at your column Rick, not because I disagree, but because it is about time someone is actually saying this. Us fans can complain all we want, but we need people like you to put these thoughts into the main stream.

    I dont so much have a problem with the Sprint Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide Series, because it does allow fans to watch the Sprint Cup guys race, for half the price.

    However, I dont think it is fair for a guy like Kyle Busch, who makes plenty of money on Sun, taking money out of the pocket of guys running on Sat.

    If NASCAR wants to allow them to race in the Nationwide Series, so be it. Make them qualify for pit selection, then make them move to the back for the start of the race. Then, allow them to receive points for their finishing position, BUT, dont give them race winnings for their finishing position. The first “non Sprint Cup” finisher should receive first place winnings, and so on. Racing is a business for a lot of those teams, and it is just for fun for the Sprint Cup regulars. Nationwide drivers dont have the ability to get huge paydays on Sun, and rely on their Sat night race winnings, so dont penalize them because they havent reached the Sprint Cup yet.

  8. Ariel Melendez Jnr Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I agree with what you’re saying. I hate it when the Cup drivers say, “I race in Nationwide because I just love to race!” If you love to race so much, do it only because you love it — no prize money, no points. That way, the point standings only reflect the drivers who race only in Nationwide Series. Although I know that money is something needed by teams to keep operating, they should at least not let the Cup regulars get any points. They should not be taking most of the top-10 in the standings when they’re racing in Cup anyway… That’s just my opinion.

  9. Rick Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I think that people are whining too much, Mark Martin and others use to dominate and win race after race. The simple fact back then was there was no change in the cup garage for years really, except for a few new faces Winston cup was the same group of drivers which meant that there were a lot of drivers that had no option but to race in Busch series. Since 2001-2002 there has been a lot of turnover in the sport to replace the big names that have left which created the need to have cup teams run development teams as sponsors want performance right now so they have these guys running as many laps as they can and as they have the best equipment and they have talent they dominate, simple as that. The idea that these cars look more like street cars is laughable and also makes it harder for small teams to compete as Roush and Gibbs and Childress can fashion there twisted up aerodynamic wings to allow them to run better than the have nots. The COT looks like a car as a Malibu doesn’t have 6inches of fender on the left and 2 on the right with the cockpit twisted over like it was a model melted in a microwave.

  10. Joe in Pittsburgh Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Been saying this for years,glad to see someone else write it down. Cup and Trucks only needed. Trouble is,Trucks might go too. Ah well,big league racing has gone down the tubes alot in the last 7 years or so. Blow em all up and start anew I say.

  11. Bruce Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Nationwide can survive if NASCAR makes two simple rules changes. First a driver can only win points in one NASCAR series during a season. Yes some drivers will still race in more than one series but without the championship on the line not on a regular basis. With all the points goung to Nationwide regulars young guys can still make a reputation for themselves. Second pit crew members can only be licensed for one devision. This raises the cost for the big teams as they need a seperate pit crew to run another series and it levels the playing field in Nationwide.

  12. Danny Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    This is a topic thats bothered me a long time.
    The nationwide series use to have a lot of
    stand alone dates like myrtle beach,rougemont,
    hickory,nazereth,pikes peak and so on.Now its
    not the case.it doesnt matter the driver can hop
    on personal jet make the race saturday and sunday.
    just limit the amount of starts each driver can make
    in the series.why do you want to race for a championship
    in a lower tier series for.

  13. Donna C. Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I think that if they are in the Cup series, they should stay and race in that and let the other guys race to prepare them selves for the big league.