NASCAR outlines process for potential Kyle Larson waiver request from Hendrick Motorsports

NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 - Qualifying
NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 - Qualifying

NASCAR officials talked about the process that would happen if and when Hendrick Motorsports requests a playoff waiver for their #5 driver. Kyle Larson, who already booked his seat in the playoffs with two wins, still stands ineligible for the 2024 Cup Series playoffs.

2021 Cup Series champion Larson's recent Double Duty attempt has left him in unexpected circumstances. The debut run for Larson at the Indy 500 witnessed a delayed start due to uncontrollable weather conditions and the Hendrick Motorsports team decided to remain at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As a result, the #5 HMS driver couldn't start his 14th Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In a recent conversation with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NASCAR's Senior VP of Competition, Elton Sawyer, talked about the potential waiver for Kyle Larson, if and when Hendrick Motorsports requests a waiver from the governing body.

"We'll let the process take its course. I'm sure at some point they (Hendrick Motorsports) will send in that request and when they do, we'll go through our due diligence and meet with our people. And again, this will be a decision that, oh, not just one person will make, but a group will sit and look at it and discuss it and move forward," Sawyer said.

Sawyer also outlined the scenario for the possible requests for Kyle Larson's waiver when asked about the process by the sanctioning body.

"Well, I think you look at it from the standpoint of, obviously, they submit the request. He has missed the race. So we start to, it's a little bit uncharted waters for us because in the past, the waivers have been mostly given for a medical reason. So this one's a little bit different from that aspect. And just a lot of, we've had some preliminary discussions, but we haven't landed," he added.

According to NASCAR's rulebook, drivers must start all 36 races of the regular Cup season. Only 16 drivers qualify for the playoffs. A driver can secure a spot in the playoff by winning a race in the regular season. If that doesn't get filled, the remaining slots then get occupied based on regular season points.

A brief look at Kyle Larson's Memorial Day weekend

Kyle Larson recently would have been only the fifth driver to attempt the Double Duty, where the driver competes at the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Larson made his debut start in IndyCar piloting the #17 Arrow-McLaren in partnership with HMS at the fifth spot from the grid on May 26. After finishing his run at P18 in the rain-delayed Indy 500, the 31-year-old flew back to Charlotte Motor Speedway to relieve the backup driver Justin Allgaier in the #5 Chevy Camaro. However, the weather in Charlotte didn't favor Hendrick's driver as he couldn't run a single lap at the Coca-Cola 600.

The Elk Grove native has been dethroned from the top of the points table in the Cup Series. He now sits at P3 with two wins, six top-fives, and six top-tens after 13 starts in the 2024 Cup Series season.

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