Before Saturday’s race in California the commentary was very interested in discussing the pros and cons of Cup regulars racing in the Nationwide Series. As much as that interests me, I would much rather talk about the Cup pit crews pitting in the Nationwide Series. So lets start with some semi factual information on Cup pit crews in the Nationwide Series. There are plenty of Cup regulars that moonlight in the NNS series. I can’t figure an exact amount but there are plenty. These Cup guys pit for many different reasons. One being that they are ask to by their companies. As a pit crew member if your told to pit on Saturday then you pit. Drivers also play a major role in who pits their car. Drivers like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have always liked having their Cup guys at the track with them. You can’t blame a crew guy for that. Another factor is money. Teams work out deals all the time and sometimes to land a crewmen for Sunday you have to let them pit on Saturday. For the majority, I would say pit crew guys like working both days. Its no different than a driver who likes to warm up on Saturday for the big race on Sunday. Crew guys like to use Saturdays as their warm-up for Sunday.
The pressure to win is what is driving most of the double duty drivers and crewmen. Sponsors want to see their name in victory lane and if that means Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick or any other Cup driver has to drive, then so be it. It’s a no brainer, if sponsorship is on the line then you give them what they want.
There are plenty of disadvantages to the double dipping theory as well. As a pit crewmen you put double the reps on your body. As a company if your star changer gets hurt on Saturday then it hurts you on Sunday. Along with that, if you’re double dipping on Saturday then your probably not developing. Some of the Cup teams that have developmental teams use Saturdays to get them reps.
This is the last point I’ll make on this. It is such an advantage to have a Cup crew pitting against a true NNS team that there will always be Cup guys pitting on Saturdays. If the teams can afford to have the Cup crewmen then they’re going to do it. It’s the same advantage as having a Cup driver in the seat. You can gain so much with both that its hard for teams not to use them. The big negative is the lower budget teams can’t compete with the Cup drivers or pit crews. Its just a fact, the full-time NNS teams with NNS drivers and crews are always going to struggle when their up against the Cup giants. As a fan of the sport I can’t blame the big teams for doing what they do and I can’t blame the smaller teams for arguing it. At the end of the day the Cup drivers bring money to the series and put butts in the seats. No one can argue that.