Once restricted by the team owners, running outside of NASCAR is becoming more of a thing in recent years.
With limited Cup practice and limited races that Cup drivers can run in the Xfinity and Truck Series, team owners are now acknowledging the lack of time Cup driver gets in real racing.
Among the Cup drivers, when it comes to racing outside NASCAR the first name that comes to mind is Kyle Larson. Everyone knows his love for dirt racing and his exploits in this discipline of racing.
When I think of somebody that spends as much time in a race car as possible, trying to learn and trying to get better, (Larson) has got everybody beat by a lot,” Tyler Reddick told NBC Sports. “You could probably add the amount of lap time or track time that he has and you could probably throw five or six other drivers together and you wouldn’t still get the amount he has. He’s just raced so much.”
And the fact that he won 10 Cup races, including the championship in the 2021 season is an extraordinary achievement for any driver in a year. Given the limited time they spent in their cars, Cup drivers are set to follow in Larson’s footsteps in pursuing racing time in other disciplines more this year.
Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman plans to run sprint car “30 to 35 times” and William Byron is expected to run select Super Late Model races. As for Chase Elliott, there are no confirmed plans as of yet but he said that there are “a couple of things that I’m working on.”
Ryan Blaney also spoke about the possibility of running outside of NASCAR as Team Penske are not as strict these days in this regard. Chase Briscoe is planning to spend a lot of time in the dirt tracks, running 15-25 dirt races this year.
Any kind of racing practice a driver gets will certainly be good for them in the Cup Series. While the teams might fear the risk of injury, but given the limited time drivers have these days in their cars, it will only good both parties good and give the opportunity for fans to see their favorite driver in other racing disciplines.