Why NASCAR needs to
change eligibility rules
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images via NASCAR
Kyle Busch at Daytona International Speedway in February.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
NASCAR has a rule in place that they have been giving exceptions for on a more than normal basis, and that rule determines the eligibility of a driver racing for a championship. For a driver to be eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, they must compete in every single points-paying event through the first 26 races.
So far, since this rule was implemented, many drivers have been in instances where they have been granted a waiver by NASCAR. That list includes Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart.
Recently, Brian France said in a meeting with the Associated Press, that they would be considering a waiver to Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who has been sidelined with leg and foot injuries since an Xfinity Series crash in February.
Kyle Busch is an incredible talent, and without him in the car, NASCAR fans are being denied many exciting moments he has been known to create. Kyle Busch is such a polarizing factor, and has been compared to many of this sport’s greatest. A Chase without Kyle Busch is a Chase worse off.
Photo by Justin Melillo /
Kyle Busch’s car sits on pit road at Daytona International Raceway in February. Busch hasn’t competed in a single points paying event yet in 2015 due to injury
It’s time to drop the rule of having to race every race, and move forward with everything else already in place. I don’t believe there isn’t a single driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who would want to sit out a race, and if there is, and they think they are good enough to miss a race and still make the Chase by the rules outlined, then I see no problem with it.
If they grant a waiver to Kyle Busch, most people aren’t realizing that in the short amount of races, he needs to both win a race and make it into the top-30 in driver points by the 26th race. That is a tall feat for any driver in the garage. Busch will have a huge task in front of him, and even if he wins, it’s still not guaranteed that he would be top-30 in points.
The reason they have this rule is to prevent drivers from sitting out, riding the bench like players in the NFL or MLB do when it’s close to the playoffs. Let’s be real though, these drivers have sponsorship commitments, and I’m sure that if they were to sit out for no reason, they wouldn’t carry sponsorship for long.
The only good reason to sit out any race is due to an injury, and considering how dangerous the sport is, even with how safe these cars have become, we should always err on the side of safety first.
If a driver gets injured in the playoffs, or sits out a race, then I think they should not be able to continue forward towards a championship. As far as the race to the Chase in concerned, if Kyle Busch is able to do in ten races what other drivers couldn’t do in 26, he should, by all means, be 100 percent eligible to race for a championship, no matter where he sits in points.