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Published on May 9th, 2011 | by Shannon Baxter

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Bring Excitement Back To The Nationwide Series

In the off-season, NASCAR announced a change to the points system.  The driver who won the race would get 43 points plus three bonus points for the win. All others are awarded points in one-point increments down to one point for finishing 43rd. Drivers who lead a lap receive one bonus point. The driver who leads the most laps gets another point.

In the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the top 10 drivers in points leaving Richmond International Raceway in September make the Chase. Chase positions 11th and 12th will be wild cards.  Wild cards are the two drivers inside of the top 20 in points with the most wins. If there are no drivers with victories in those positions, the final Chase poisitions will be determined by points.

Also, NASCAR announced in the off-season that drivers must specify the national series — Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Truck –  in which they would like to compete for the championship.

NASCAR wanted to make the championship race closer and more exciting.  As we can see, the new points system is doing its job for the Sprint Cup series.  The race for the championship is tight, making it as exciting as ever. It is likelt to make for an awesome show at Richmond this fall.  It puts an extreme emphasis on winning rather than just top fives and top tens.

With the Nationwide Series, the new system ensures that Sprint Cup drivers can’t take the championship away from Nationwide regulars, no matter how many races Cup regulars win.  It will be nice to see an Nwide driver win the championship at the end of the year.

But, there is a chance that a Nationwide driver could win this championship without winning a race.  Is that good for the sport from a Nationwide Series perspective? In my opinion, no.

NASCAR thinks that if Cup drivers aren’t in the field for Nationwide races, fans wouldn’t be interested in attending or watching.  That’s where I think they are wrong.  All NASCAR fans want to see is good racing.  It doesn’t matter who is doing the racing, they just want to see some door-to-door action.  Fans are bored with seeing Cup drivers like Kyle Busch of Carl Edwards winning all of the Nationwide races.

If NASCAR limited how many Cup drivers are allowed to race in the Nationwide Series, I believe it would bring back some excitement to the series.  We would see drivers like Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Justin Allgaier racing neck-and-neck for the win on the last lap, rather than seeing the same Cup drivers contending for the win week in and week out.

That would give the Nationwide drivers back a name and add more heart and soul to the races.  It would give NASCAR fans something to be excited about.

My solution?  I think if a Sprint Cup driver has raced competitively at the Cup level for two years or more, they should not be allowed to race more than five Nationwide races a year.  Drivers that moved down from the Cup level to the Nationwide level (ie: Elliott Sadler) would be able to race the entire Nationwide season. This would give the Nationwide drivers back their series, and give them a chance to add wins to their resume.

This will probably never happen, but it was something lingering in my mind that I needed to get off my chest. Your thoughts?

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7 Responses to Bring Excitement Back To The Nationwide Series

  1. Jesse says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I would just make it so you can only race one series. No starts at all in the other two series for cup guys, and maybe only 3-5 races for drivers trying to go up to the next series.

  2. Chris says:

    I can understand your reasoning, but people watch Nationwide Series races specifically to see Cup regulars. There aren’t many fans of such drivers as Reed Sorenson, Jason Leffler, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., etc. Take the Sprint Cup drivers out of the Nationwide Series, and it would be bad for the tracks financially because fewer people would come to Nationwide Series races. My suggestion as far as the Nationwide-only drivers is concerned is to award the three-point bonus normally awarded to race winners to the highest-finishing Nationwide-only driver to give those drivers more stakes at high finishes.

  3. Shannon Baxter says:

    I agree with you Jesse, but sometimes the Cup drivers who own Nationwide teams need to drive their own cars. So I think they should get to drive in atleast a few races, rather than eliminating them completely.

    Chris, I see how some people think that. But I feel like if people could only focus on the Nationwide drivers, then they would make their own fan base. People would eventually only watch the race for their favorite Nationwide drivers.

  4. Russ Edwards says:

    get over it. As long as the there is money in it, the Cup teams will run in Nationwide.
    And this question is a universal one throughout the world of motorsports. How do you lessen the impact of cubic money? Nobody has found a answer yet.

  5. Julie says:

    Speak for yourself Chris, I watch Nationwide to see Justin Allgaeir, Ricky, Reed, and many others. These guys are great Nationwide drivers, but are being bullied by cup drivers. (Not all cup drivers) but think about the nonsense with Brad and Denny, and Kyle. They acted like Brad should just roll over and play dead when they wanted to pass him. When he held his line and stood his ground, he was accused of being “agressive”. What the heck!
    These Nationwide drivers have a right to to race the cup drivers, but most of the cup drivers think they should give them the track.
    I sure as heck to not go to see that!
    This series could make plenty of money and the regular Nationwide teams survive if the cup regulars were not taking all the top purse money.
    But the problem now is that the cup drivers are not racing for points in the Nationwide series, so they have nothing to lose and go out and are careless and don’t care who they wreck.
    That needs to be addressed too!

  6. Brooks says:

    Chris, fewer people do come to a lot of nationwide races already. Did you see the Nashville race? Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards were racing that weekend and yet couldn’t draw a big crowd. So that logic of cup drivers bringing in big crowds is outdated. Plus I suppose you haven’t seen any of the races at Iowa Speedway. They pack that place for each race, and maybe one or two cup drivers show up at best. But that doesn’t keep those folks from showing up.

  7. Ari Yoder says:

    I agree too. I love NASCAR but get sick of watching Kyle Busch (whom I can’t stand) win over and over.

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