Camping World Truck Series

Mullins: NASCAR Needs To Make The Hard Decision Already

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NASCAR announced earlier today new participation guidelines for 2018 which will limit the amount of races Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars will be able to run. In 2018, drivers with more than five years of experience in the MENCS will be limited to seven races in the XFINITY Series and five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, down from this year’s ten and seven, respectively.

Back in 2011, NASCAR announced that drivers had to “pick a series” to run for a championship and wouldn’t earn points for a championship in the other series. This was a good move by NASCAR and it was their hopes that it would prevent the drivers from driving in other series. It didn’t.

Before the 2016 season got underway, NASCAR noted that the 16 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers from 2015 wouldn’t be able to run the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the lower series. That was a good start, but in my opinion, that should have been barred from driving in any of the playoff races in the lower series.

In October of 2016, NASCAR made the announcement that Cup drivers with more than five years of experience can race in 10 NXS and seven NCWTS races. NASCAR officials also added that those drivers were unable to run the playoff races, as well as the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash race, as well as no Cup drivers, regardless of experience level, could race in the season finale races of the lower series. That was a great addition, but still not quite there.

Today’s announcement of limiting those number even more is still a move in the right direction, but still not there.

When will NASCAR officials make the hard decision and just ban all MENCS regulars from the lower divisions?

Don’t get me wrong, I know that sponsorship and the all mighty dollar is what drivers the sport, but at what cost? This is one of the most debated topics in the sports recent history, but is it valid?

This topic has been at the forefront of discussion over the last decade and the rules that have been implemented are a step in the right direction, but just isn’t there yet.

The initial rule made in 2011 was to help curb the double-duty participation in which NASCAR’s premier series drivers won five-straight XFINITY Series Championships. The last Cup regular to win the championship was won by Brad Keselowski in 2010, his first year with Team Penske.

Will make NASCAR make the hard decision? I don’t know, but I wish NASCAR would make the hard decision and just prohibit drivers from moonlighting the lower series.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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