NASCAR’s delicate balance

On one hand NASCAR needs big stars to compete in its Triple A series known as the Nationwide Series, and on the other NASCAR needs a place to create its stars of tomorrow or this sport will wither away and die. They have announced today that drivers may only race for one championship, which means no longer can one driver run for the point’s title in two or three of their top touring divisions. Now drivers have to pick one series to run for points in, and track promoters and TV executives are nervous that this will take the big cup drivers out of the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series races.

Carl Edwards, who has run full time in both Cup and Nationwide for the past several years, bring in a large live crowd and a big TV audience in Nationwide races. So far he has said he will continue to run both series, but should his cup team suffer at any point that will go by the way side since the Cup series is where the big money is and should be his focus.

Now, there is not a full time rookie in the Cup series this year. That is a big problem and NASCAR, like every other sport out there needs to create new stars to keep itself going. A full time Nationwide series only driver has not won the series title since 2005, and that is likely why we see no full time rookies in 2011. No one has built up a strong enough racing resume to get a cup team ride. That, and a lot of cup rides have fallen by the way side in teh economic downturn.

NASCAR is playing with a delicate balance here, they need enough cup drivers to participate in Nationwide series events, and they need to build up new stars for tomorrow. This seems to be a great idea to do just that, but we shall see how it plays out down the road.