Might Martinsville’s Xfinity race overshadow the Cup hype?

Ty Gibbs’ win at Martinsville was a controversial one(Getty Images)

It has been said that all publicity is good publicity.

But is that statement always true? What if the publicity in question outweighs the event that is actually supposed to garner the most publicity?

The NASCAR Playoffs system was implemented for the primary purpose of creating drama over the closing weeks of the racing season. Whether one sees it as legitimate drama or artificially contrived drama, it is drama nonetheless. The ultimate purpose is to showcase action that will provide something for media, fans and competitors alike to talk about throughout the final third of the schedule.

Of course, the primary focus of that drama is meant to center around the NASCAR Cup Series considering that it is the premier division offered up by the sanctioning body. However, there could be a problem with this weekend’s edition of ‘As the Racing World Turns’.

Saturday’s Dead On Tools 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series contained enough drama to fill an entire Playoff run with so many storylines that it would be almost impossible to include them all in one piece of writing. And therein lies the problem.

Will the Saturday preliminary overshadow what is supposed to be the main event?

After multiple and highly intense restarts over the final laps of the Xfinity race, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver Ty Gibbs appeared to intentionally spin and crash teammate Brandon Jones. Gibbs then went on to claim the win. The grandson of his team owner was then greeted in victory lane with taunting chants of “Thank you, grandpa” erupting from fans in the grandstands. And that was only a small part of the story.

That’s a lot of drama packed into a race that is supposed to serve only as a warm-up to the main event.

A potential problem for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 is that the Cup Series race held at Martinsville in the spring was not very exciting at all. Some have speculated that the Next Gen car now being used in the top division has hurt the level of competition on short tracks this season. If that holds true this weekend and this race turns out like that of April with very few lead changes and nothing worthy of conversation, it could be that people will primarily be discussing the Xfinity event during the week leading into the championship weekend at Phoenix.

That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

Could it be that the Xfinity Series insanity of Saturday will work against a potentially less than interesting Cup Series event held on Sunday?

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Richard Allen has been covering NASCAR and other forms of motorsports since 2008.

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