Could the days of Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and other Sprint Cup drivers frequently competing in Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races be coming to an end?
According to a high-ranking NASCAR executive appearing Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, an announcement is forthcoming that will, in an unspecified way, limit Cup drivers' participation in lower-division races.
"It certainly is on our radar," NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell said. "We've heard our fans. It's interesting. It's been a balance throughout the years. We've always had Sprint Cup drivers come into the Xfinity Series and sometimes dominate.
"That is something we're taking a really hard look at for next year. I'd say stay tuned. We're going to look at that and probably have something to announce fairly soon."
Cup drivers have competed in Xfinity events since the series' inception, frequently dominating races and claiming the majority of wins. Eighteen of 30 Xfinity races this season have been won by a full-time Cup driver, including Busch owning nine in 16 starts. And the same applies to the Truck Series, where Busch has gone 2 for 4 in races this season and Kyle Larson 1 for 2.
But with NASCAR introducing a Chase format to its other two national series this season, the issue of Cup drivers infringing on potential championship scenarios has taken on greater significance -- even with any Cup driver who made the Chase last year prohibited from competing in Xfinity and Truck Series finales at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
During Saturday's Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway, Larson triggered a crash that involved title-eligible drivers Erik Jones and Brendan Gaughan. And when Busch went to victory lane, it prevented a series regular from earning a win that would've automatically transferred them to the championship round.
"As the sport has evolved one of the great things is we've got more of a fan following in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series," O'Donnell said. "They like seeing those drivers come up through the ranks and it's our job to make sure that Xfinity is where names are made. We've got to do on that on the racetrack."