Larson “not sweating” waiver as he awaits NASCAR decision

Justin Allgaier / Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, H1100 Chevrolet Camaro

Larson had every intention of running both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 last weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans. Weather delayed the start of the 500, forcing Larson to miss the start of NASCAR’s longest race.

He finally arrived in Charlotte after 249 of 400 laps were completed, but so did the rain. The race never resumed and Larson never got behind the wheel. Justin Allgaier drove the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to a 13th place finish, subbing for Larson. 

Justin Allgaier / Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, H1100 Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

On the FOX pre-race show at Gateway, both Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer voiced frustrations over the current rule and agreed that Larson should be granted a waiver. He was leading the regular season championship before missing the Charlotte race and currently sits third in points with two race wins.

“I think we can all agree the waiver thing doesn’t make any sense as it stands right now,” said Larson on FS1. “But I do understand the rules in place. I’m not sweating it that much.”

Larson appeared to sound at peace with whatever decision is ultimately made, adding: “Thankfully, I’ve won a championship. In my eyes, I still get to compete for a championship through the owner’s points system. That’s how we all get paid. [It] would obviously be weird if I was to win the driver’s deal at the end of the year and didn’t get to have my name in the record books, but it’s already in there once. That’s kind of all that matters to me.”

Hendrick Motorsports submitted the request for a waiver on Thursday and NASCAR has set no timeline for when a final decision will be made.

“I’m sure it’s confusing,” continued Larson. “I think NASCAR is probably trying to figure out if I get a waiver, do they have to rewrite the rule … I really don’t care. I’m here to race. I’m gonna be here every weekend.”

The rule in question 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.”

In the past, NASCAR has issued waivers for drivers sidelined for medical reasons, and even drivers who they’ve suspended for violating NASCAR’s behavioral policy.

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