January 10, 2011
See that ring that Brad Keselowski is about to punch you in the face with? Yeah, he better not do that. That's probably going to be the only Nationwide Series championship ring he's going to have.
A move that had been talked about for a while has become official with the release of the 2011 NASCAR license applications: drivers will have to declare which series title they are racing for in 2011.
"The brand-new license forms that are out, there's a box and in it, it states that you have to mark — put an X — what championship you're running for," Kenny Wallace said, quoting his application. "A driver will only be permitted to earn driver championship points in one (1) of the following three series: NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Please select the series in which you would like to accumulate driver championship points. Choose one."
The move is designed to prevent yet another Sprint Cup regular from winning the Nationwide Series championship, which lately has been the norm. The last Nationwide-only driver to win the series title was Martin Truex Jr. in 2005.
It shouldn't impact the Camping World Truck Series too much as that series schedule doesn't make running full-time feasible for either a Cup or Nationwide crown. A driver has never won a Truck Series championship while at the same time competing full-time in Cup.
However, the rule doesn't prevent drivers from running as many races as they can in all three series. That means that it's entirely possible that the 2011 Nationwide champion could be beaten in the "traditional" standings by a Cup driver.
The early favorites for the Nationwide title are Elliott Sadler, Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott. Sadler is running a full season for Kevin Harvick Inc., Almirola for JR Motorsports, Allgaier for Turner Motorsports and Scott for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Do you like the changes? Do you think it's possible that the Nationwide champion may not win a race in 2011? Drop us a line in the comments.
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