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NASCAR Off-Season Racing Rift: Inside the Debate

NASCAR Off-Season Racing Rift: At Phoenix, Kyle Larson and his pit crew showcased remarkable synchronization, swiftly getting car #5 back on track. For a moment, it appeared Larson might secure the 2023 Cup title. Yet, his crew chief, Cliff Daniels, admitted they lacked a winning car that day. Undeterred by these setbacks, Larson has shifted focus to the off-season, diving into dirt track racing and his High Limit Racing Series.

This shift, however, hasn’t struck a chord with everyone. Doug Rice, a renowned figure in racing radio with PRN and SiriusXM, expressed dissatisfaction during a recent discussion with co-hosts Alexis and Brad Gillie. Rice voiced concerns over NASCAR drivers venturing into other racing series, citing Alex Bowman’s earlier mishap.

Larson and Brad Sweet recently expanded their 2022-founded High Limit Racing, planning over 50 race nights with a staggering $5 million prize for the season. Though Larson might skip series like the Chili Bowl Nationals, his presence in his sprint car series remains prominent.

This choice, however, didn’t sit well with racing icon Doug Rice. He contends that heavy investments by Hendrick Motorsports in drivers like Larson, Elliott, and Bowman make it unwise for them to explore other series. Rice’s apprehension stems from Bowman’s injury during a different series, advocating restrictions on NASCAR drivers participating in non-NASCAR events.

Rice asserted, “Drivers engaging in other races during the off-season… If I’m Rick Hendrick, investing millions and countless hours in you… racing on Thursday night for a meager sum, to me, that’s the ultimate selfish act.”

Yet, Rice’s co-host Brad Gillie took a different stance, advocating for drivers’ freedom to engage in activities they enjoy, aiming to avoid burnout before the season starts.

NASCAR Off-Season Racing Rift (2)

In the debate on restricting drivers from other series, co-hosts Alexis and Brad Gillie opposed Doug Rice’s cautious approach. Gillie argued against expecting racers to pass up opportunities, citing Larson’s success across diverse series.

Alexis highlighted diversifying race participation to attract new fans who might not typically follow NASCAR but could be intrigued by drivers at local tracks throughout the year.

Gillie expanded, “Let them pursue their interests… Kyle Busch‘s most prolific Cup Series years aligned with his involvement in truck and Xfinity races. This keeps them fresh and at the top of their game.”

ALSO READ: Kyle Larson Sim-Free Racing Style: Embracing Instincts Over Virtual Tracks

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.


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