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'That's crazy,' says one driver about notion NASCAR could deny Kyle Larson a waiver

Michael McDowell says it is “crazy” that Kyle Larson might not receive a playoff waiver from NASCAR after Larson did not start last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 because he was competing in the rain-delayed Indianapolis 500.

Hendrick Motorsports has applied for a waiver but NASCAR has not granted it. Larson is not eligible for the playoffs at this point even though he would have secured a spot with two wins this season.

A NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports on Friday that there was no timetable for a decision.

Section 12.3.2.1.A of the Cup Rule Book states: “Unless otherwise authorized by NASCAR, driver(s) and Team Owner(s) must start all Championship Events of the current season to be eligible for The Playoffs. If a starting position was not earned, then the driver(s) and Team Owner(s) must have attempted to Qualify, at the discretion of the Series Managing Director, for the Race.”

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Roger Penske, Chevy say Kyle Larson deserves NASCAR playoff waiver: ‘I know they will handle it properly’

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion’s playoff eligibility is in doubt after missing the Coca-Cola 600 to compete in the rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 on May 26.

This is NASCAR’s process for requesting a waiver: A team/driver must formally submit the request through the NASCAR Waiver Request portal. They provide details on the waiver request. A member of NASCAR’s Racing Operations team receives it and passes the request to the appropriate internal parties for discussion.

Michael McDowell, who will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway, is surprised no waiver has been granted to Larson.

“I don’t see the other side of this point at all,” McDowell said. “I think, if it was me and I did it, and I think that is a different situation and I hate to say it like that, but Kyle Larson is going to win five or six, seven races this year. To sit here and say that he’s not going to get a waiver because … he tried to do the double and brought a tremendous amount of eyeballs on our sport and a tremendous of eyeballs on IndyCar and just helped motorsports all together is crazy.

“I know that there’s arguments to that, but I mean, come on, we’re talking about the best driver that’s ever sat in a stock car and we’re not going to give him a pass? That’s crazy.”

NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum
NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum

Friday 5: Front Row Motorsports finds ways to make charter system work for it

Front Row Motorsports’ recent charter purchase is another example of how the team has benefitted from wheeling and dealing charters.

Larson told reporters Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway that he’s “not” stressed about his playoff status. “It’s not up to me,” he said. “I’ll be here every weekend.”

Asked what he would do if he didn’t get a waiver, Larson told reporters Saturday: “I would not do anything different. I would try to win a championship.”

His Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 team remains eligible for the owners championship because it has competed in every event. Justin Allgaier drove the car to a 13th-place finish in last weekend’s rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600.

Larson will start 13th in Sunday's race at World Wide Technology Raceway. He enters the event third in the points despite missing the Coca-Cola 600.