How should the Cup drivers race against the hopefuls in the qualifiers?

When Cup drivers run Xfinity Series races, are they obligated to stray from the path of championship-eligible regulars? -Ciara L. Fayetteville, North Carolina

There can never be a satisfactory answer to this, which is what makes it a great question.

Where 2018NASCAR has limited the amount of minimum series races that Cup Series drivers can compete in to ensure that the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck are not dominated by the same drivers in the same equipment that are always up front on Sunday.

This policy allowed divisional competition to thrive, going from just six wins for Xfinity Series regulars in 2011 (out of 34 races) to 26 (of 33) 10 years later. For the most part, these restrictions are a win-win situation, allowing Cup drivers to gain a little extra experience, glory and prize money a few times a year, allowing teams to sell sponsorships based on the big names on the track, while maintaining focus in the Xfinity arena by excluding Trophy drivers full of Dash 4 Cash and Playoff races.

However, more often than not, we’ll get a race like Saturday (September 3). VFW Help A Hero 200 Sports Clipswhere Sheldon Creed allowed Noah Gragson to pass them in a wrestling duel in the closing laps between Cup driver Kyle Larson and Xfinity Series bubble driver Sheldon Creed.

Should Larson have realized that a win would mean more to Creed and not attack him with the same force in the final laps? After all, he is a guest in the Creed series.

no. This is a race and no one has the right to ride, win or place one.

Don’t get me wrong, they should all deserve basic respect, safety, and fair compensation, but on the right track, no one deserves an inch. In the 2019 Bristol Night Race, does Matt DeBendetto deserve to win so hard that Denny Hamlin should have just topped him? Although Hamlin felt very bad he had to I apologize to the driver that he won (I could add cleanly), he’s still ahead and overtaking, and Debenedetto stays a long way from the victory and playoff lane.

Although defeating Creed on the last lap may leave an unfortunate taste in some’s mouths, the driver himself is not among their numbers.

“I thought this was just a tough race,” Creed said. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Fortunately, Larson Hendrick Motorsports Team 17 appears to be the exception to a new rule. In 2022, we saw a phenomenon where Cup drivers would run (and even win) the Xfinity Series races for middle teams: Cole Caster with SS Greenlight Racing at Auto Club Speedway and Tyler Reddick with Big Machine Racing at Texas Motor Speedway, for example.

While the risks of these engravings may be low for drivers (neither Reddick nor Custer have anything left to prove on the Xfinity level), they are much higher for teams. Selling sponsorships based on wins and the emergence of a trophy driver could change these operations he runs as well.

This phenomenon may be due to the fact that trophy drivers can no longer score points for the Xfinity Owners Championship. It may come from financial pressure on Trophy teams to cut their Xfinity programs, and it could be out of a strange sense of justice or the hope of repeating Ross Chastain’s Xfinity-backmarker-to-Cup rise. Regardless, it helps reduce this problem.

But if you ask Creed, it’s not a problem at all.

After capturing their first win together on Sunday in Darlington, can we expect more wins from Eric Jones and Betty GMS Motorsports in 2023? – Burt G, Sioux City, Iowa

yes. My conservative expectation would be for Eric Jones to win at least one time next season, and a maximum for 2024 and beyond. That Jones Boy is still a young 26-year-old, and he’s absolutely smitten with Betty GMS.

Jones exploded into the national series scene on a part-time campaign with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2013, earning his first Camping World Truck Series win at Phoenix Raceway at just 17 years old. Two years later, he won the series title in his first full-time effort.

In the days before trophy drivers were limited to five starts a year, Jones was one of the series’ highlights, winning six times at the Xfinity Series between 2015 and 2016. After a rookie cup year at Furniture Row Racing in 2017, Jones quickly became A playoff contender, he worked his way past the 2018 and 2019 season before being replaced by Joe Gibbs Racing with Christopher Bell at the end of the 2020 run without a win.

Just a few years ago, Jones was the next big thing. The NASCAR scientist has the memory of a goldfish. It is best for all of us to remember that young drivers generally take time to deliver on their promise. Look no further than Joey Logano, also leave it after winning only twice for JGR before winning the championship by the end of the decade.

The numbers (one win, three top spots, and 10 top 10 in 27 first-year team races) don’t lie. Jones is a good race car driver, but bIts biggest advantage is that the new Petty GMS isn’t the Richard Petty Motorsports we used to know and love, and it’s a little car from a process that was sometimes You can’t even stand it Bring a spare car to the track.

New co-owner Maury Gallagher is the president and CEO of Allegiant Air, a budget airline whose logo has graced the side of GMS cars and trucks for years, including the number 42 Ty Dillon at times throughout this season. Gallagher and Allegiant are known for their extensive investments in sports marketing, particularly through a 20-year deal that saw the Las Vegas Raiders play at Allegiant Stadium, which was said to be the most expensive naming rights deal in NFL history at the time. 2019 توقيع signature.

They say the only way to make a small fortune in the race is to start with a big fortune. With Gallagher now signed to checks, the famous No. 43 finally got the financing that the car lacked in Richard Petty Motorsports’ later years (except for deals signed after Bubba Wallace emerged as a sponsorship giant).

Replacing the known quantity of Dillon with the Xfinity Series headliner Noah Gregson in the team’s 42nd car for 2023 is the kind of big gamble the team needs money to make. Jones’ closing of a multi-year deal earlier this season suggests that both Jones and Gallagher see each other as their ticket to the front of the field.

Yes, by winning the Southern 500, Jones proved that he and Betty are back. Most importantly, Morey Gallagher proved that he has arrived.

New two-car teams from Trackhouse Racing Team, 23XI Racing and Kaulig Racing stole the headlines throughout 2022. But Darlington reminded us of what we should have known all along: Petty GMS is here, and it’s dangerous.

We expect them to continue this upward trajectory next year. Mark my words, more wins will come to #43.

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