NASCAR May Have Just Unofficially Eliminated Cup Drivers in Lower Series

By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie

On Thursday, NASCAR released new rules for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoor Truck Series seasons. While there were a ton of new rules announced — I will get to some of those in a few — nothing is bigger than the incentive NASCAR just gave car owners to keep Cup Series drivers out of their Xfinity and Truck Series rides.

Starting in 2019, wins by Cup Series drivers in either of the other two NASCAR National Series will not count toward playoff points, or berths for the teams in which they compete.

In essence this means if any owner wants to be able to run for the owner’s championship they must stick with series regular drivers. Cup drivers had already been eliminated from driving for lower tier series championships while running for the Cup Series title in recent years. Then NASCAR took their rules to the next step by limiting the races in which Cup Series drivers could participate in the NXS and NGOTS.

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Bill Elliott Sporting Rookie Stripes at Road America

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500

By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie

Since news broke that Bill Elliott would be coming out of retirement to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Road America, Kerry Murphey has joked on basically every episode of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast that in doing so Elliott would be losing his place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for at least a couple of years.

Of course, Elliott’s enshrinement is staying put, but the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion and winner of 44 Cup Series races has an interesting rear bumper this weekend on his No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro.

The team was instructed to place yellow rookie tape on the bumper before Elliott could run any laps in practice around the massive 4-plus mile race course. Elliott also partook in the rookie driving meeting with Tyler Reddick and the other NXS 2018 rookie class.

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Ross Chastain’s ‘Ryan Preece’ Opportunity Has Finally Come

NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300

By Toby Christie, Editor – Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie

Rides in top-flight equipment in the NASCAR Xfinity Series do not come easy. It typically takes a driver – regardless of their talent – bringing a pile of their own cash if they want to show what they can do in a premier vehicle in the series where names are made.

Ryan Preece is the latest example of what can happen when a talented racer hits the racing lottery. A season ago, Preece – who was an amazing NASCAR Whelen Modified Series driver but was failing to garner attention from top teams in the Xfinity Series — opted to forgo a full-time season with an underfunded race team, and instead lumped his season-long sponsorship funds together for a couple of one-off opportunities with Joe Gibbs Racing.

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New Podcast Episode Available Now!

530 consecutive weeks. That’s how long our Podcast, The Final Lap Weekly, has been running. Incredible, and it’s all in thanks to the amazing fans we have. They continue to listen week in and week out, and some have even begun to chip in their own hard earned money to help move the show to the next level (you can too at our Patreon page).

This week’s show was another classic, as we broke down one of the more exciting Bristol night races in recent memory. We also have IndyCar and Amazing Race star Conor Daly on the show, as he is making his NASCAR debut this weekend at Road America.

Good News!

As part of his general Cystic Fibrosis examination, Landon had a throat swab at his specialist appointment. We just got word that it came back good and normal! And I got a raise at work. Can’t ask for a much better day than that in the Christie household.