NASCAR’s recent decision to lower the number of lower-division events that its top series’ racers can compete in seems to have divided the sport into two camps: drivers and fans.
Kevin Harvick joined a growing list of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have spoken out against the new restrictions Wednesday on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, “Happy Hours,” according to NBC Sports.
Kyle Larson isn’t entirely opposed to the rule — which restricts Cup drivers to running in seven Xfinity Series and five Camping World Truck Series races in 2018 — though he said Tuesday competing against the likes of Kyle Busch and Joey Logano while in Xfinity helped prepare him for Cup. Busch, however, strongly denounced the limit, noting it will financially impact his team, Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Harvick, who used to have his own team that ran in Xfinity and Truck, echoed Busch’s statements.
“I know there are going to be a lot of people that disagree with me, but it’s hard when you’re trying to build a business and you’re trying to sell sponsorship, you have no tool greater than yourself when you’re in a situation like Brad (Keselowski), myself or Kyle (Busch),” Harvick said, via NBC Sports.
Many fans support further limiting Cup drivers, as they think those racers’ are taking away opportunities from developing drivers. Harvick, however, reportedly reiterated Busch’s point that they attract sponsors to the lower series, in turn, opening up more doors for Xfinity and truck regulars.
“It seems you’re just getting your balls chopped off every time you try to go out and sell sponsorship to try to keep your team funded because of the fact you can’t run enough races, so you can’t tie it to enough things,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said. “To me, it’s not the right thing to do.”
Racing is very different from most sports, in that talent alone isn’t enough to allow drivers to succeed. They also need a lot of financial backing. The 41-year-old Harvick claims even Ryan Preece, who won the Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway, wouldn’t have a ride if it weren’t for the sponsors Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones bring to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Thumbnail photo via Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY Sports Images
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