This is a subject on which I have written many times, in many venues, over the past 10 years. NASCAR is finally considering making significant changes to the 'feeder' series (Busch Series, which will become the Nationwide Series in 2008). So far, their tentative thinking is to disallow Cup drivers receiving points for competing in the races (probably limited to those in the top 35 in Cup points).
They could take it a bit further. How about disallowing the prize money?? That should go to the Busch/Nationwide regulars. It would afford them a better payday, and they certainly have been shafted in that area particularly in the past 5 or so years. If a Cup team wants to do their R&D in the companion race, why is NASCAR paying them to do that? Seriously, this is something that should be thrown on the table.
The Busch Series was developed and intended as a developmental series, not as a practice round before the Cup race. It's about time that the AAA-leaguers were given priority in their own league. Watching a Kevin Harvick or a Carl Edwards come in and run the Series with their Cup money, development and team members, while amassing 800-900 point leads is disheartening to those who are trying to get the proverbial foot in the door.
Hopefully NASCAR will make some better decisions for the future of the new Nationwide Series. Going to what are termed 'pony cars' (Mustangs, Camaros, etc.) would also be a good way to separate the two Series. Perhaps we'll actually be able to applaud NASCAR on this one someday.