With the recent victories of the Truck Series' and Nationwide Series' races going to Sprint Cup drivers, a lot of people are voicing their opinion against having them race in either series. They argue that the Cup drivers are taking away from the young guns and that they never get an opportunity to win anything because of their dominance. Then there are some fans that think that their complaints are useless and that they are just being jealous. Either way, I have witnessed passion out of these people voicing both sides of the article. As a semi-professional NASCAR writer, I want to explore both the pros and cons to this debate. Should they be limited to only the Cup series, or should they expand their horizons and race in all three of the series? This will be long debated until if NASCAR ever does decide to ban Cup drivers from both series'.
Pro #1: It allows Cup Drivers to learn the track before the race on Sunday.
This is true. I remember while Carl Edwards was doing double duty as a Nationwide driver, he always said that this is one of the ways that he got to practice for Sunday. It actually did help his performance a lot more as well when it came down to the races on Sunday. Cup drivers get to get out there with no points on the line and see how their car runs on certain track temperatures and other factors. Sure, a Nationwide car and a Cup car are two different animals, but at the end of the day, they are both race cars, and these drivers get more time behind the wheel to evaluate the track to prepare for Sunday.
Con #1: A Cup car and a Nationwide Car/Camping World Truck are two different beasts.
That said, all of these vehicles of racing are all different in their own way. Come race day, they all may have different set ups depending on what's needed for the race. The Nationwide cars have a lot less weight and horsepower than a Cup car, and that gives a lot of Cup drivers an upper hand because they are used to handling much more demanding cars. Also, just because the Cup drivers win and dominate the Nationwide and Truck races, doesn't always mean that they will do good on Sunday. There is always a chance that they will crash on Sunday or their luck from the day before will run out. Anything is possible in this sport.
Pro #2: The Nationwide/Truck Series drivers get to learn from Cup drivers.
If you are kid who is 19 years old who is going to start in his/her first race as a Nationwide/Truck series driver, wouldn't you be excited if you had the opportunity to race with notable drivers such as Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, or Matt Kenseth? These kids work so hard to work with these guys, and even though in most cases it can be annoying as heck for them to see the Cup drivers dominate, they are mostly honored to be racing among the best. The Cup drivers are on the highest professional level of racing, and these guys have an opportunity to talk to them and learn something from them. What young driver wouldn't want this opportunity? Also, there are some Cup drivers such as Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, who own their own race teams to give these guys an opportunity to learn just as they had to. There may be a chance that some of them won't get to work their way up to the Cup series anyway, so it's awesome for a lot of them to live out their dreams right then and there.
Con #2: They are going to race against them when they work their way up to the Cup series anyway, so what's the point?
There is also a large chance that these Nationwide/Truck young guns will be able to live their dream of moving on up to the Cup series. They are going to get to run against these guys either way. Some young guns even get to run some Cup races to learn how to race against these guys. So either way, they are going to learn something, regardless if a Cup driver is racing in their series, or they come up to the Cup series. I think even Cup drivers still learn a thing or two about racing each time they hit the track.
Pro #3: Cup drivers are the type of people who just love to race
In the end, regardless of what level of NASCAR these guys are in, they are RACERS! Racers are a special type of people who become restless if they aren't racing something. Their lives are fueled by competition, speed, and danger. I think that some Cup drivers aren't happy unless they are out there racing something all of the time. Racers are some of the toughest and most competitive people you will ever meet. And it makes them happy to be out there competing for a trophy. There are also fans out there who love their favorite Sprint cup driver so much that they love seeing them race in different races. So, it's kind of like dirt or small track racing: just race at every opportunity that is given to you!
Con #3: Their love of racing is taking away from the young guns and the fans.
While it's good for a Cup driver to get out there and race their heart out, it's doing a disservice to the drivers who compete in the Nationwide and Truck series. There is a lot of good talent who are not Cup drivers, who deserve to win a race. In fact, a lot of people argue that when a Cup driver is not racing in some races, that the races are actually better, because these young guns fight for what they want. When a Cup driver is dominating a race and is 3 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, things can get boring for fans, who get tired of seeing the same person dominating. As a result, a lot of seats for these races are empty because the fans don't want to waste their money on someone they know is going to win anyway. So not only does it do a disservice for the other drivers, but the fans alike.
In conclusion, there lot of pros and cons as to why Cup drivers should/should not be racing in the lower levels in NASCAR. Every fan will argue their point passionately. But in the end, it's racing, and racing is a very passionate sport to begin with.