Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Helton: Idea limiting Cup drivers in other NASCAR series 'doesn't go very far'

  NASCAR President Mike Helton sat down with "NASCAR Race Hub" co-host Danielle Trotta on Wednesday on Fox Sports 1 for the first of a two-part interview.

   During the interview, Helton was asked about limiting Sprint Cup drivers in NASCAR's other series but his answer didn't seem very encouraging for those who support that idea.

   Q: Is NASCAR considering limiting the number of starts that Cup series drivers can make in the Nationwide or Camping World Truck series? 

   Helton: "It’s a conversation point that doesn’t so far go very far because NASCAR is open-minded. It’s open-field, too. We don’t believe it’s correct to tell someone they cannot compete somewhere.  We have NASCAR drivers who go compete in IndyCar or ARCA or a weekly track or a weekly show or open-wheel racing in different programs, and that’s the culture of NASCAR to be open-minded about who participates. No one is excluded from participating. You can earn your way in. We have, however, changed some of the rules and regulations around in hopes to encourage and get attention to the ones who are competing on a fulltime level in the Nationwide. It happened a couple of years ago. We had the drivers to select what series they would gather points in … We saw some signs of being successful there. We’re just not of the mindset to exclude somebody from participating. We’d rather encourage everyone who wants to participate to participate. So, if we said, ‘You can’t play over here,’ it’s kind of contrary to our culture.’ ”

   Part 2 of the interview will air Thursday at 5 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.