NASCAR Grants Kyle Larson Playoff Waiver For Missing Coca-Cola 600 To Race In The Indy 500

larson kansas
(NASCAR via Getty Images)
larson kansas
(NASCAR via Getty Images)

Kyle is in the clear … finally.

NASCAR announced on Tuesday that it has granted Kyle Larson a waiver to be eligible for the NASCAR Playoffs, even though he missed the start of the Coca-Cola 600 to race in the rain-delayed Indy 500.

The decision took more than a week.

NASCAR’s rules require full-time drivers to attempt to start every race on the calendar in order to participate in the championship-deciding 10-race playoffs, if they qualify for it.

Waivers have been given in the past for injuries and driver suspensions, but Larson’s was the first for intentionally missing a race to compete in another series. Larson has two wins this season which locks him into a playoff spot.

NASCAR vice president of competition Elton Sawyer didn’t give a decidedly clear answer as to why the waiver was ultimately approved, but said that Larson’s effort to make it to Charlotte to take over his car mid-race played a role.

justin allgaier hendrick motorsports car
(NASCAR via Getty Images)

Justin Allgaier had started in Larson’s No. 5 car and was running in 13th when the Coca-Cola 600 was suspended and ultimately abandoned due to rain, which arrived just as Larson made it to the track.

Sawyer also noted the importance of the Indy 500 to motorsports, that Larson’s participation was a positive for NASCAR and that the series supports drivers who want to try to complete The Double by racing in both events on the same day.

Sawyer said this was a very specific situation and should not be considered a precedent for the future, but that NASCAR will continue to review the situation and determine if it needs to update the waiver rules.

Sawyer also said that the waiver matter had not been discussed with Larson or Hendrick Motorsports prior to the start of the Coca-Cola 600, which was officially when he became in need of one.

Larson posted a gif of himself giving a thumbs-up to social media on the news.