NASCAR reduces field counts for Xfinity Series in 2019; Places further limits on Cup drivers

Starting in 2019, team owners only receive playoff owner points if the driver runs for points in the series

2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rule changes are pending

The NASCAR Xfinity Series has been reduced from a 40 car field to a 38 car field.

In addition, MENCS cup drivers that drop down to run in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series will no longer accumulate owner points for their Xfinity team owner. In addition, a win by a MENCS driver will not help the Xfinity owners when it comes playoff time.

At the start of the season, drivers have to pick which series they are running for points in. This rule went into the rulebook in past seasons. Now, it carries the same process to the owners championship. If they driver runs for points in a series higher on the ladder, he can not accumulate owner points for a lower series team.

This is a massive change.

Many times, fans will say that it’s not the cup drivers in Xfinity that are the problem, it’s the teams they drive for. The cup drivers come into the Xfinity Series in the best of the best equipment. It’s very possible these new limits reduce some of that. A team running for owner points will want drivers that are eligible to earn owner points.

In recent years, NASCAR has placed limits on cup drivers running Xfinity series and truck series events. For 2018, the limit was reduced from a 10-race limit to just 7 races.

This is a greater step of that same rule. You can read the full announcement from the sanction below.

Kyle Larson and Justin Allgaier at Bristol Motor Speedway
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 17: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, and Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 17, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

NASCAR announces new Xfinity & Truck limits for 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 23, 2018) – NASCAR announced several rules for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series aimed at strengthening both the competition on the race track and the identity of each series.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, a maximum starting field will be 38 cars starting in 2019. As part of the restructure, NASCAR will reallocate the purse money previously awarded to the 39th- and 40th-place finishers to the rest of the field.

“Our goal is to ensure that each race features the strongest field and best racing for our fans,” said John Bobo, NASCAR vice president of racing operations.

“The NASCAR Xfinity Series already features some of the tightest competition throughout the field. This adjustment will further strengthen an already outstanding series,” Bobo concluded.

Following one of the most thrilling Xfinity Dash 4 Cash campaigns in the program’s history, NASCAR also announced today that the four 2018 tracks will again make up next year’s Dash 4 Cash slate.

In 2019, the March 30 race at Texas Motor Speedway will serve as the qualifier race, with the top four Xfinity Series points earners landing a spot in the Dash 4 Cash opener at Bristol Motor Speedway (April 6). The remaining three Dash 4 Cash races will be held at Richmond Raceway (April 12), Talladega Superspeedway (April 27) and Dover International Speedway (May 4).

This season, NASCAR strengthened the identity of each series by implementing more defined participation guidelines for both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which will be known as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019.

In 2019, the next step in that evolution will occur, as team owners in the Xfinity Series will only earn Playoff points and a race win will only count towards Owner Championship Playoff eligibility if the driver earns points in that series or the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Subsequently, a Gander Outdoors Truck Series owner will only earn Playoff points and a race win will only count towards the Playoffs if the driver earns points in that series.

Competition officials also released 2019 rules regarding eligibility for past champion’s provisional berths. In the Xfinity Series, owner and current or former series champion drivers are eligible once every eight qualifying attempts for a maximum of four provisional berths that season. In the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the eligibility is once every five qualifying attempts, also for a maximum of four provisional opportunities per season.

2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rules:

A further announcement is pending regarding 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rules.

“I think we’ll be coming out with that announcement shortly,” Bobo said. “I think this is a topic that our role as a sanctioning body is always to create balance in the field and also produce the best racing possible for the fans, and I think that we’ve had a hell of a season so far.”

“The racing has just been fantastic. That’s a long way of saying we’re going to continue to look at this and even after we announce it, any rule change for 2019, we’ll continue looking at it,” Bobo concluded on pending MENCS rules.



Related: NASCAR Xfinity limits updated (2018)

Related: Kyle Busch is frustrated with NASCAR competition limits

Related: Justin Allgaier discusses cup drivers in an Xfinity field