Busch could be a no-win situation

NASCAR is considering a plan that would keep full-time Nextel Cup Series drivers from winning the Busch Series after the 2008 season -- the same year the Busch Series will have its own version of the Car of Tomorrow.


If NASCAR signs off on the plan, any driver ranked among the top 35 in the Nextel Cup standings cannot get points in a Busch Series race.

It won't keep Nextel Cup regulars from racing -- and dominating -- the junior circuit, but it will help NASCAR crown a champion that's dedicated solely to the Busch Series.

So far, most seem to like the idea.

"I would be in 100 percent in favor of what they could do to make the Busch Series to where it was more about the Busch Series regulars, and it was more about the young guy coming in and trying to compete for a championship at that level," said two-time Busch Series champion Kevin Harvick .

Newly-crowned champion Carl Edwards plans to do double-duty again next year. After that, he joked he might have to wear a disguise to compete for championships in both circuits.

"I hope that I can race," he said. "The way I look at it, if I go to the local dirt track, there's a dirt track that runs on Wednesday nights and I want to go build a late model and go race for points, I can go do that and I'm glad that I can. And I feel that way about the Busch Series.

"If NASCAR feels that they need to change for the good of the series, then I'll do whatever I need to do. ... I just hope I can still race in these Busch races when I want to."

Five of the top-eight drivers in the Busch Series standings, including Edwards, work full-time in the Nextel Cup Series.

HORNISH CLOSER TO CUP: Although Sam Hornish Jr. has failed to qualify for a Nextel Cup race this year, he apparently trusts car owner Roger Penske enough to make the move to stock cars next year.

Hornish, a former IRL Indy Car Series champion, would be another former Indianapolis 500 winner who will race in NASCAR next year. Others include Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villenueve, Dario Franchitti and Buddy Lazier .

Franchitti, who clinched his first IRL championship in October, has competed in the ARCA and Busch series this year trying to get up to speed. He's expected to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at the season finale Nov. 18.

If he decides to leave Indy-cars, Hornish would join Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman at Penske Racing South.


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