DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR’s competition applications for 2011 require drivers to select which series they will race for a championship in this season.
The declaration will prevent Sprint Cup drivers from racing for championships in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, and presumably fill NASCAR’s desire to give its second-tier series its own identity.
NASCAR has declined to discuss the policy change because officials plan to make all their competition announcements over the next few weeks.
The requirement to choose just one series first was reported by NASCAR.com, which spoke to driver Kenny Wallace about the application he filled out last weekend.
Wallace confirmed the requirement in a post on his Twitter page.
Designed to be a feeder series where young talent can develop, the Nationwide Series is instead dominated by NASCAR’s Cup stars. The last five champions were all full-time Cup drivers, and Justin Allgaier was the only non-Cup driver to win one of last season’s 35 Nationwide races.
The change will likely only affect Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards, the only two drivers who had planned to run the full schedule in both series.
NASCAR likely will not limit the amount of Nationwide and Truck Series races that Cup drivers can enter. Doing so could be a deterrent to many fans, some of whom only get to see NASCAR’s stars race live in those lower-tier series.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press