Maybe NASCAR Shouldn’t Grant Kyle Busch A Waiver


Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe NASCAR shouldn’t grant Kyle Busch a waiver to make the chase upon his return?

I understand that this stance will not be a popular one amongst many fans, especially Busch fans. However, before you come at me with pitchforks let me explain.

More from Kyle Busch

At the time of this writing there currently isn’t a timetable for Busch to return to the track. That being said, he admitted in his meeting with the media that he is more than hopeful to be back by Daytona in July. So, for the sake of this conversation let’s say that Busch makes his return in July at Daytona.

The July race in Daytona would be the 17th race of the 2015 season which means that Busch would have missed the previous 16 races. If Busch makes his return in July at Daytona he will do so with 10 races remaining before the start of the chase. In order for Busch to make the chase he would have to win a race and make it inside of the top-30 in points, assuming that he receives the desired waiver from NASCAR. Busch requires a waiver from NASCAR since he did not attempt to qualify for the races that he missed (sans Daytona) and attempting to qualify for every race is part of the criteria to make the chase.

Busch will not be seeking a normal waiver from NASCAR though. Normal in the sense of the types of waivers that NASCAR has granted in the past for drivers who have not attempted to qualify for every event. Busch will instead be seeking a waiver that would allow him to qualify for the chase should he win and not make it into the top-30 in points. This is what he will be seeking as trying to make it into the top-30 in points in only 10 races after having missed 16 races might be an insurmountable task.

So, that’s brings us to the million dollar question; should NASCAR grant Busch that waiver?

For the most part I agree that Busch should be granted the first waiver which will excuse him from not qualifying for every race this season. While there is something that seems unfair about a driver missing 16 races and still making the chase; if he wins and gets into the top-30 in points in 10 races it’s hard to argue that he didn’t earn his spot in the chase.

John Harrelson – USA Today

On the other hand, should Busch have the right to contend for a title if he doesn’t make it into the top-30 in points?

After eight races the 30th-place driver is Brett Moffitt and he has 136 points, behind him is Sam Hornish Jr. with 135 points. Since Hornish Jr. is a full-time drivers let’s assume he can double his points in the next eight races and the 30th-place driver will have somewhere around 270 points when Busch returns. It’s safe to assume that Busch might struggle closing such a large gap in 10 races which would mean that even with a win he would need NASCAR to bend the top-30 rule for him.

If NASCAR is to bend the top-30 rule it would mean that a driver who was raced all season (unless it’s Kyle Larson or Kurt Busch at this point) would be knocked out of the chase in favor of Busch. Giving the chase spot to a drivers outside of the top-30 with a win over a driver inside of the top-16 in points without a win seems almost criminal. I mean how would you feel if it was your favorite driver that wound up getting knocked out in this particular scenario?

More over, if Busch does win and doesn’t get into the top-30 but still makes the chase; he is going to be a legitimate contender for the title given the new chase format. What if Busch wins the title? Should NASCAR have a champion that missed nearly half of the season?

I understand that what happened to Busch was unfortunate. I also understand that in some respects it’s NASCAR’s fault since that wall that he hit was not protected. However, NASCAR needs to do what is fair to everyone as opposed to trying to accommodate Busch or makeup for any wrongs that they feel responsible for.

At the end of the day Busch is going to miss a lot of races before his return (could be 10, 12, 14, 16 or more.) NASCAR giving Busch the chance to earn his spot in the chase by winning and getting himself into the top-30 is one thing. NASCAR letting Busch into the chase by winning and not making into the top-30 is another thing. I would love to see Busch come back and light the world on fire, it would make for an amazing story. For that story to happen it has to be earned though and being outside of the top-30 with a win simply isn’t good enough in my estimation.

What do you think? If Busch misses more than a dozen races as many expect should NASCAR grant him a waiver? Should NASCAR go one step futher and waive the top-30 criteria for him if he wins a race? Be sure to comment below and let us know what you think.

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