Recently I have heard some spectacularly misinformed arguments as to why NASCAR should ban Cup drivers from racing in the Nationwide series.
1 “Cup drivers stop young up-and-coming drivers getting rides.”
No, the ride is available for a fee and is open to anyone with the money (and licence requirement) to fill it. Development drivers are charged by the team for the privilege of being development drivers. It is not difficult to become a development NASCAR driver, you just turn up at a team with a large cheque. Most of the youngsters that you see in NNS have their drives paid for by investors. Often it is family money, sometimes corporate; it doesn’t really matter. A regular NNS “Back row Joe” that doesn’t have the money to run at the front, still won’t have the money to run at the front when the Cup drivers are no longer there.
2. “If the Cup drivers were not there, there would be more sponsorship money for the NNS regulars.”
No. There is not a queue of companies waiting for their chance to get their name on a front running NASCAR. Sponsorship simply doesn’t work like that. I have seen a marketing proposal from Roush Fenway Racing that actually uses the fact that Cup drivers run in NNS as one of its selling points. Sponsors go racing for a reason, a return on their investment. They are not going to start throwing money at people they have never heard of just because there is no-one else to sponsor. They will most likely take their money to another sport or event.
3. “The racing will be better without cup drivers”
No. If that was true, you would never watch the Sprint Cup. If you want to know what NASCAR looks like without NASCAR drivers in it, watch ARCA. That is not to say the racing in ARCA is bad, but is it better than any of the NASCAR series? At its best I think it is the same.
4. “NNS would be more popular without the Cup drivers. NASCAR needs to listen to the fans.”
Possibly. I have seen no polls about the popularity of Cup drivers in NNS. But I do have statistics showing that NNS is already the second most popular motorsport in the USA, so how much more popular will it get? NASCAR have little to gain and at lot to lose by making a massive change like banning Cup drivers. If they made that decision and they were wrong, they would kill the NNS stone dead within 6 months.
A decision like this will change NNS marketable value and you have to remember it takes a hell of a lot of money to put one of those cars on the grid. All of a sudden you will get sponsors like Monster Energy projecting a higher return for their investment if they just run part time on a Cup car. Smaller sponsors would see the same return for a smaller investment in the Truck Series. It is a tight rope and not one I would expect NASCAR to start chopping around unless they can be completely certain of the outcome.
I think the truth of the matter is that some people just don’t want Kyle Busch winning everything. That is a fine opinion to hold, but I would never support any system that penalises drivers and teams for being good at their job. Much less suggest that the governing body risk destroying an entire series just to stop one driver from winning.
|He turns up at Latemodel races too!
***All the crap you see written here is Kelvin's opinion and not that of his associates, race team or marketing partners.***