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Why Is Kyle Larson’s Waiver Decision Taking So Long?

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What’s Happening?

One week after Kyle Larson’s “Double” attempt ended in him failing to turn a lap in the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR has yet to announce a decision on whether or not to grant Larson a waiver. Why is it taking so long, and what things does NASCAR have to weigh?

  • Kyle Larson’s waiver debate has raged on for a while, and everyone has an opinion on whether he should or should not get a waiver.
  • However, NASCAR does not consider the scenario cut and dry. This is a unique situation in which they have to consider multiple factors.
  • Fans are tired of talking about the waiver. Many hope NASCAR gives him the waiver so everyone can move on to other things.

What Is NASCAR’s Stance?

NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competiton, Elton Sawyer, commented on the waiver situation two days after the Coca-Cola 600. He called the situation “Uncharted waters” and emphasized that this decision would be a collective decision.

It’s a little bit of uncharted waters for us because, in the past, the waivers have been mostly given for medical reasons. So, this one’s a little bit different from that standpoint…We’ve had some preliminary discussions, but, we haven’t landed.

Elton Sawyer

From the start, we have NASCAR outright admitting that this situation differs from any other waiver scenario they’ve ever seen. NASCAR has given out waivers for injuries and suspensions when drivers were forced to miss races, but Larson chose to skip the Coca-Cola 600 in favor of the Indianapolis 500. It’s a gray area that has no direct comparison

Jeff Gluck spoke out about where NASCAR stands on the most recent edition of “The Teardown” following the Gateway race. He reports that NASCAR is weighing every option possible with this, and NASCAR is not trying to draw this out for attention.

All week long I’ve seen so many people speculating ‘NASCAR knows what they’re going to do. They’re just stringing this out for attention, for clicks.’ I’m sorry to tell you guys, that is not the case. The reason that this has not been announced yet, what they’re doing, is because they don’t know. Not only do they not know, but there is serious consideration to not giving Kyle Larson a waiver…Now, that doesn’t mean that they won’t do it. I would view it as cooler heads will prevail perhaps, but there’s factually, unquestionably people within NASCAR in the Competition Department that are against the waiver for Kyle Larson, and discussions are till going on. That is why we do not know.

Jeff Gluck

Jordan Bianchi later added that there is “No rush to make a decision.”

Why is NASCAR taking so long? This is unlike any waiver decision they have ever had, and it’s a very complex argument.

Both Sides of the Argument

On one hand, Kyle Larson seemingly had every intention of competing in the Coca-Cola 600 alongside the Indianapolis 500. He qualified the car at Charlotte and showed up at the track to race before rain stopped the race as Larson was literally about to strap into the driver’s seat.

Remember, this is the Indianapolis 500, arguably the biggest motor race in the world. Larson showcased what stock car drivers could do at Indianapolis and represented himself well. It also may have turned more eyes towards NASCAR.

NASCAR has also given waivers out multiple times before. Seth Eggert points out that NASCAR has granted 31 of 35 waiver requests, with two waivers given out after suspensions. Is racing in the Indianapolis 500 a worse offense than turning someone into the outside wall at 170 MPH at Charlotte like Chase Elliott did last season?

On the other hand, the rule states that drivers must compete in all races unless NASCAR gives them a waiver to be eligible for the Championship. According to the letter of the law, Larson should not be eligible for the Playoffs since he missed a race. Unless NASCAR approves a waiver for any of the reasons listed above.

The bottom line is that when the rain came, Kyle Larson chose to race in Indianapolis despite having hours to spare to arrive in Charlotte in time for the Coca-Cola 600. Sure, Larson could not control the weather, but he still chose to race at Indianapolis in a rival series and push NASCAR to the side. Oh, by the way, the Coca-Cola 600 is a genuine, “Crown Jewel” event.

If NASCAR decides to give Larson a waiver, it opens up a whole host of possibilities. What if multiple drivers race at Indianapolis one year and another weather scenario like that one occurs? What if drivers want to compete in other big races?

This is not a simple decision, and that is why this is taking so long. How long will it take? No one really knows.

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is. And don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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