By: Stephen Dando – @SteveonTheGrid
This weekend I watched the Phoenix Xfinity race, it left me with more questions than answers. The track is a wide multi-grooved one-mile oval located in the Arizona desert. The entire race was “the Kyle Busch show”.
Kyle Busch simply dominated this race leading 175 laps of the total 200 laps. Busch has won more Xfinity races than any other driver in the field. The win at Phoenix marked his 79th victory in the Xfinity Series. He is currently the all time leader in series wins. The only active track he has yet to conquer is the road course at Watkins Glen and I wouldn’t be surprised if he marks that off of his list in August.
His dominating performance led me to ask myself several questions:
- Isn’t the Xfinity Series a “ladder series” meant to be a springboard in the careers of young drivers who want to make it into the Sprint Cup Series?
- Should former Sprint Cup champions be allowed to dominate one of the lower levels of NASCAR? This begs the question: Is this something NASCAR should address via further rules, perhaps limiting full time Sprint Cup drivers to 3-5 Xfinity races and former Sprint Cup Champions 1-3 races, to give the youngsters a fighting chance.
I agree with Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 Chevy, who said “The way to get better is to race the best.” I believe that there are some limits to this idea, such as the current situation of a top level driver dominating a smaller series meant for younger drivers. I get that it gives the Sprint Cup drivers a better feel for the various tracks at which they do double duty.
During the race I counted five full-time Sprint Cup drivers including two former Champions Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Drivers like Kyle Busch, Keselowski and Harvick already have polished skills. Isn’t the point of the “ladder” series like the K&N Series, Camping World Truck Series, and Xfinity Series to further develop young drivers and crews. Such as Chase Elliott, Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones, Blake Koch and Brandon Jones?
That is the whole point of lower level series isn’t it? I would be interested in hearing different fan’s perspectives on this issue.