If Tony Stewart wins one of the final two races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, he will be allowed to compete in the Chase, despite the fact that he hasn’t met all the criteria.
NASCAR President Mike Helton announced the waiver during a press conference on Friday afternoon following a statement from Stewart himself. Stewart has missed the last three races after being involved in a crash during a sprint car race at Canandigua Motorsports Park that took the life of 20-year-old Kevin Ward, Jr.
Under Chase eligibility rules, a driver must attempt to qualify for every points-paying race in order to remain eligible for the Chase. This is the first year of NASCAR’s new Chase Grid, where a driving winning a race automatically qualifies them for the final 10-race playoff system.
However, as a part of its rules, NASCAR did add an “except in rare instances” clause and determined that this was one of those instances.
For coverage of Stewart’s press conference and return to the track, click here.