NASCAR is considering more Xfinity races without Cup drivers for 2019 and beyond

It’s all on the fans to decide if they want NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Xfinity races going forward

The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway brought a new perspective to the second-tier NASCAR Series. That was a fantastic race!

Part of it was the badass high banks of Bristol. Part of it was the modified driver schooling the regulars to the delight of the short track crowd. And another part of it was there wasn’t any Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers there to stink up the show.

For 2018, there’s several races where MENCS driver are barred from the Xfinity race. All 4 Dash for Cash races and all 10 playoff races, 11 total races will be Xfinity only this season.

“We didn’t have any Monster Energy Series driver. You obviously hear from the fans from time to time — Mostly, not wanting them to participate in the race,” Steve O’Donnell says on ‘The Morning Drive’ via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

“This was kinda our first look at that this season. I think the drivers proved they’re certainly capable of putting on a tremendous race. It’s where names are made. We want to continue to get the Ryan Preece’s of the world with as much publicity as we can.”

“In order to do that, he’s gotta run up front and win. So, he’s doing his part. Hopefully, the sport can do it’s part and continue to grow those drivers and get them to the next level.”

New Hampshire Results - July 15, 2017 - NASCAR Xfinity Series
LOUDON, NH – JULY 15: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

What do you think about the Xfinity only race? Could we see more of that going forward? Beyond Dash for Cash and Playoff races?

“If you liked what you saw this weekend, stay tuned for Richmond. It will be the same thing.”

“What we’ll do, is we’ll continue to monitor, what do the fans think? What do our partners think in terms of what they’re seeing on the race track.”

“It’s one thing to say, we like this. But, fans need to turn out. Ratings needs to be there.”

“[It was] only one race. But, we saw some really good indications in terms of the TV rating. That’s something that we’ll continue to monitor. But, I think our gut tells us that that’s the direction we want to continue to go. Even more so, in 2019 and beyond.”

Regan Smith: “I’ve been on the fence as to what the right amount of cup guys in the NASCAr Xfinity series is. Today’s race was definitely an eye opener in terms of what the identity of that series could be. Names were not only made but were also introduced today.”

Of the 7 races so far, 5 of them have been won by a NASCAR Cup Series driver. The latest race, didn’t have any Cup drivers in the field. Before that, it was 5 of 6. The race at Daytona was the only other race that was won by an Xfinity Series regular, Kyle Larson led the most laps in that event.


Related: April 2018
Ryan Preece will be debt free after winning at Bristol

Related: April 2018
Tony Stewart wants more experienced short track drivers to get a shot in NASCAR

Related: August 2017
Kyle Busch is frustrated with the new Cup driver limits

Related: July 2017
NASCAR places more new limits on Cup drivers in Xfinity and Truck Series

Related: October 2016
NASCAR announces limits for NASCAR Cup Series drivers in lower series


Steve O’Donnell | Regan SmithRyan Preece | Bristol | NASCAR