Whenever stricter limits are imposed on NASCAR Cup Series drivers competing in Xfinity Series or Truck Series races, and really whenever their participation in these two series is brought up, one name comes to mind.
That was the case once again when NASCAR announced that the current strict limitations would become even stricter beginning in the 2020 season, with Cup Series drivers who have three or more seasons of full-time experience in the Cup Series being permitted to compete in a maximum of only five Xfinity Series races and five Truck Series races.
NASCAR senior director of racing operations Meghan Miley stated that these limitations are not meant to single out Busch for his rampant participation in these two series. Busch‚Äôs participation in these two series has reached the limit each season no matter what the limitations were/are since these limitations were first introduced ahead of the 2017 season.
Here is what Miley had to say, according to NASCAR.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs always something people bring up, and while what Kyle is doing is no less impressive and he‚Äôs an extremely important owner in our Truck Series, we take into account what‚Äôs been the trend here for all of our teams in the garage, all of our stakeholders and really what is best for everybody, not just one person.‚ÄĚ
With all due respect to the idea of not singling somebody out with these new restrictions, all of the facts and figures show that this is indeed the ‚ÄúKyle Busch rule‚ÄĚ.
Throughout the history of Xfinity Series in particular, especially before the 2011 season when drivers became forced to declare for points in just one of NASCAR‚Äôs national series, Cup Series drivers have dominated. From 2006 to 2010, Cup Series drivers won every Xfinity Series championship.
Even without points on offer, this dominance continued through the 2016 season, with these Cup Series drivers winning well over half of the races on the schedule in each season from 2011 through 2016. But ahead of the 2017 season, NASCAR then limited Cup Series drivers who had five or more seasons of full-time experience in the Cup Series. They were now permitted to compete in a maximum of only 10 Xfinity Series races and seven Truck Series races.
Ahead of the 2018 season, these limits were further reduced to seven Xfinity Series races and five Truck Series races, and now ahead of the 2020 season, they are set to be reduced once again, as outlined above.
In the 2017 season, there were two Cup Series drivers who were restricted by this five-year rule and competed in the maximum allowable total of 10 Xfinity Series races. They were Busch and Joey Logano. In the 2018 season, that number was reduced to one driver, and that one driver was Busch.
So far this season, Busch has competed in six Xfinity Series races, and he is slated to compete at his seventh and final race of the season in a few weeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The only other Cup Series driver who has competed in more than three is Ryan Preece, and he‚Äôs a full-time Cup Series rookie.
This is the ‚ÄúKyle Busch rule‚ÄĚ, end of story.
He‚Äôs literally the only one affected by the seven-race to five-race reduction.
And that‚Äôs without even mentioning the Truck Series.
Since these initial limitations were instated ahead of the 2017 season, Busch is the only Cup Series driver who has competed in more than two Truck Series race in any season. He competed in the maximum allowable total of seven in 2017, five in 2018 and five in 2019.
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As usual, expect Kyle Busch to compete in the maximum allowable total of NASCAR Xfinity Series races and Truck Series races in the 2020 season, five in each series, and don‚Äôt expect anybody else to hit the updated limits of the ‚ÄúKyle Busch rule‚ÄĚ.