NASCAR update paints clear Kyle Larson playoff waiver picture

Despite rumors of him not being granted a playoff waiver, Kyle Larson is still listed as a co-favorite to win the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR / Logan Riely/GettyImages

With Kyle Larson opting to remain at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the rain-delayed 108th running of the Indy 500, thus forgoing the opportunity to score points -- and ultimately compete -- in NASCAR's rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, there has been a discussion about whether or not he should be granted a playoff waiver.

That discussion has a pretty simple, common-sense answer, though some are still refusing to acknowledge it in an attempt to stir up unnecessary controversy. Anything other than the obviously right decision would be shambolic on levels than transcend the sport.

Alas, nothing is for certain, and it is up to NASCAR to make that decision, and whatever decision they make should be respected.

But let's cut to the chase. We have seen absolutely nothing to indicate that they plan to effectively eliminate arguably the sport's top driver from championship contention more than three months before the playoffs start.

And neither have the sportsbooks.

If you're looking for a good indication on what NASCAR's decision will be, look no further than FanDuel Sportsbook.

Following the Coca-Cola 600, which was ultimately shortened from 400 laps to 249 laps around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Concord, North Carolina oval due to rain and thus did not see Larson compete, Larson is listed as a co-favorite to win the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series championship, along with Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin.

Full odds can be found here. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Larson, who has won two races so far this season, was the points leader before he missed the Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin, whose three wins are tied for the most with Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron, is the new points leader after his fifth place finish at Charlotte.

Bottom line, if you're holding out hope that NASCAR is basically going to exclude Larson from its playoff standings with 12 races remaining on the 26-race regular season schedule, you might want to give that up.

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The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season's 15th race is the Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss it!