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The Cup Drivers Who Skipped the Xfinity Series

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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The NASCAR ladder to the Cup Series it typically pretty straight forward. Typically, drivers start in ARCA, then move on to Trucks, then to Xfinity, then up to the Cup Series. A few driver seemed to skip a step or two along the way for one reason or another. Which drivers made the jump straight to the Cup Series, and how did they fare?

Mike Skinner

Mike Skinner was the Craftsman Truck Series’ first superstar. He won eight races in each of the first two seasons of the series including the inaugural series championship in 1995. He impressed so much that Richard Childress expanded his Cup Series operation to two teams for the first time in his career as an owner.

Even though he never won a points race, Mike Skinner had some good moments in the Cup Series. He finished 10th in the standings in 1999 and he won the pole in the first race of his first full-time season, the 1997 Daytona 500. He is up there as one of the best NASCAR drivers to never win a Cup Series race.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards won three Craftsman Truck Series races in each season between 2003 and 2004. Also in 2004, Jack Roush had an opening with his team as Jeff Burton left the team mid-season to join Richard Childress Racing. Carl Edwards skipped full-time Xfinity to race the final 13 races in the Cup Series, and he notched five top-10s in 13 races.

It was enough for him to run full-time in both the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series in 2005. He went on to have a Hall of Fame caliber career with 28 career wins, but narrowly missed out on a Championship. He did win a Championship in the Xfinity Series, however, while running full-time in Cup simultaneously in 2007.

Brett Moffitt

Brett Moffitt not only skipped the Xfinity Series, he also skipped the Truck Series initially. Yes, he began his Cup Series career with no full-time experience in the Truck Series or the Xfinity Series. Five impressive seasons in the ARCA Menards Series East was enough for Front Row Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing to give Moffitt 31 Cup Series races in 2015.

His foray into the Cup Series was short lived as he only had one top-10 finish in those 31 races. He moved back down to Trucks and Xfinity where he would win Craftsman Truck Series Championship in 2018. He now runs full-time in Xfinity for Tim Self in the 25 car. Truly one of the most bizarre careers in NASCAR.

Travis Kvapil

The 2003 Craftsman Truck Series Champion made the jump straight to full-time Cup Series competition in 2005. He spent most of his Cup Series career driving for start-up teams and back of the packers. His best season came in 2008 with the fledgling Robert Yates Racing where Kvapil would get his only career pole at Talladega.

His 2013 domestic violence arrest was rock bottom for him, and he would not run full-time again in the Cup Series following the 2013 season. Despite this, the Kvapil name has become more common around the race track once again with his son, Carson, making a name for himself driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the CARS Tour. Who knows what Carson can do in the spot?

Typically, skipping steps on the ladder tends to not end well for drivers as is evidenced by this list. Carl Edwards is an exception, but, generally, it does not work out well. Hence why most drivers jump from Trucks, to Xfinity, up to Cup.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts