ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — NASCAR is changing rules for Xfinity and Trucks races next season, saying it will strengthen competition and more clearly define each series.
In the Xfinity Series, the maximum starting field will be reduced by two cars to 38 beginning in 2019. NASCAR says it will reallocate the purse money previously awarded to 39th- and 40th-place finishers to the rest of the field.
NASCAR vice president John Bobo said the change will help ensure the organization's goal of putting together the strongest field.
Another change involves how points are awarded in the owner championship race for the Xfinity and Trucks series. Car owners will only earn points in the championship race if the driver is an Xfinity or Trucks Series regular.
Drivers are only permitted to run for one series championship. Currently, when Kyle Busch or other Cup regulars compete in a lower series, the drivers don't earn championship points but the car owner still does. NASCAR awards a driver and owner championship in each series.
By taking owner points away when a non-series regular competes, NASCAR is encouraging teams to use top-level Cup stars less frequently and give other drivers a chance.
NASCAR said the latest change is the next step in its effort to strengthen the identity of each series by implementing more defined participation guidelines.