Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Receives Playoff Waiver From NASCAR

Kyle Larson will retain his eligibility for the 2024 Cup Series playoffs via a playoff waiver, NASCAR announced June 4.

The Hendrick Motorsports superstar driver applied for an exception to remain in playoff contention after missing the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway due to racing in the rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 in the NTT IndyCar Series over Memorial Day weekend.

Larson, a two-time winner in the Cup Series this year, was already qualified for the playoffs via wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. However, NASCAR rules state that drivers must start every race during the regular season to earn a berth in the postseason.

See also
5 Points to Ponder: The Playoff Picture Is Officially Wild

The decision to remain in Indianapolis, rather than leaving early to make the green flag in Charlotte, initially took Larson out of the playoff running.

But NASCAR exercised its option in the rule book to grant a waiver to Larson, albeit well over a week after the race was missed, meaning he remains in playoff contention.

He sits second in driver points, 21 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. Hamlin took over the regular-season lead when Larson failed to earn points by missing the Coca-Cola 600.

Larson has two wins, six top fives and seven top 10s in 2024. Justin Allgaier replaced him at Charlotte, finishing 13th. Larson was set to take over from Allgaier after returning from Indianapolis, but the race went under a weather delay upon his arrival and never resumed.

Larson finished 18th in the Indy 500.

About the author

Austin Bass joined Frontstretch in 2024 as a contributor to combine his passion for racing and writing. Born in Wilson, NC, he developed a passion for racing at an early age while attending local short tracks on Saturday nights with his dad and watching the stars of the sport from their living room on Sunday afternoons.

Bass is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a degree in Communication Studies where he developed a deep understanding, appreciation, and love for the Oxford comma. He is an industrial degreaser salesman for Cox Industries whenever he is not writing or talking about racing.

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janice

and did anyone have any doubt he wouldn’t receive waiver?

Wildcatsfan2016

No one except the people who write articles for websites

Jeremy

No surprise. Did anyone actually think he wouldn’t get one? The only way this exemption would be in question is if it was a mid-pack driver in a non-Hendrick/Gibbs/Penske car.

I think the whole start every race thing is stupid. If the rule to get in is based on a combination of points/wins, then it shouldn’t matter how many races you start. If you’re good enough to meet the criteria regardless of how many starts made, then you should be in. If not, then you’re out. No exemptions needed.

Last edited 8 days ago by Jeremy
Tony

One of the biggest non-stories in the history of non-stories. There are plenty of NASCAR-only types who believed that he shouldn’t get one, but I’d wager that no one familiar with the situation genuinely believed he wouldn’t get a waiver.

DoninAjax

I’m surprised they didn’t drag it out longer! What will the scribes topic du jour be now?

What happens to “win and you’re in” if there are 17 drivers with wins? How does NA$CAR in their infinite wisdom tell one driver that he didn’t make the final ten event farce? What is the criteria for eliminating said driver? Maybe NA$CAR will change the “rule”???? Maybe they will rely on POINTS?

Last edited 8 days ago by DoninAjax
janice

now remember, one year it was 12 you’re in and then the spingate happened and the brain trust amended the “rule” to allow gordon to compete for title (wasn’t that his last year of competition?) the rule book is written in pencil and they have a jumbo eraser so they can amend rules for whatever situation arises.

we can’t just rely on points as that “champion” is crowned after 26 regular races. i guess hamlin might possibly win a championship by being regulars season champion after 26 races this year

just goes back to participation trophy deal that started years and years ago with kids and sports. ever since society started that, kids no longer know that losing is part of sports as winning is.

DoninAjax

NA$CAR is already using POINTS to determine the drivers in the final ten event farce. If a driver with a win is outside the top 16 in POINTS he does not qualify, right? Or is that a NA$CAR “rule” too?

Echo

Quit making sense. If a driver punches Ben Kennedy for being so stupid and said driver has 3 wins already, does he get a waiver.

Bill B

The check finally cleared. LOL

DoninAjax

Or Mr. H can write the donation now and say, “It’s in the mail!”

Jim

This is a non-story only in the sense that the granting of the waiver was both justified and predictable — certainly based on past decisions.

It is a story because it has demonstrated terrible leadership on the part of NASCAR. Every detail in the statement from NASCAR was clearly known — some before the events of the day, others immediately after they occurred. NASCAR certainly could have thought through some of the “possibilities” before the events. “What if” thinking is a core quality of real leaders. NASCAR could have — and should have — made this announcement with a day! NASCAR needs some leadership development/training!

Bobby DK

The rain got Kyle and ruined his plans. Nascar changed their rules to give him a waiver. The rained also ruined the fans plan to watch a full race. Hey Nascar, maybe you can change that after halfway it’s an official race rule. Especially on a holiday weekend. Oh wait. The fans are the bottom of the food chain.

Wildcatsfan2016

I realize this is off topic but I just read an article that Parnelli Jones passed away at 90 years old. RIP

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