DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR officials have adjusted the participation guidelines for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series in advance of the 2020 season.
Under the 2020 guidelines, any driver earning Cup Series points with more than three years of premier series experience will be limited to five Xfinity Series starts during the season.
They will also be prohibited from racing in any of the Dash 4 Cash events, the regular season finale and the seven Xfinity Series playoff races.
Previously, drivers with more than five years of Cup Series experience were limited to seven starts during the year, making the 2020 modification a two-start decrease.
Cup Series drivers with more than three years of experience will continue to be limited to five Gander Trucks starts during the year, as well as barred from the three Triple Truck Challenge races, the regular season finale and the seven playoff events.
Those earning Xfinity Series points will also be ineligible to compete in the Gander Trucks’ Triple Truck Challenge as well, continuing on from the program’s debut this summer.
“With the driver participation guidelines, what a chance to highlight these young talents,’’ said Meghan Miley, NASCAR senior director of racing operations. “We’ve gotten feedback from all our stakeholders and from the fans, who say, ‘we want to see more of the regulars’ and then we talk to some of the drivers who say, ‘we want the opportunity to drive against these [Cup] guys because they’re the best and they make us better.’
“So it’s more about finding that middle ground, what works for everybody but is great for us to highlight those series regulars.’’
Miley was quick to point out that while many have called the participation limits “The Kyle Busch Rule,” due to his Xfinity Series dominance in the mid- to late-2000s, the guidelines are not intended to single out a specific driver or drivers.
“That’s always something people bring up,” Miley told NASCAR.com. “While what Kyle is doing is no less impressive and he’s an extremely important owner in our Truck Series, we take into account what’s been the trend here for all of our teams in the garage, all of our stakeholders and really what is best for everybody, not just one person.”