Roger Penske, Chevy say Kyle Larson deserves NASCAR playoff waiver: ‘I know they will handle it properly’

DETROIT – IndyCar owner Roger Penske and General Motors racing executive Jim Campbell both believe Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports deserve a waiver so Larson is not shut out of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

“That’s up to NASCAR,” Penske told Thursday in Detroit, site of this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar Series race. “I mean, certainly I want to see him not lose anything by coming to the Indy 500 for sure. But Larson came here with Hendrick Motorsports to race, they did a great job and I think it’s great for the sport.

“It’s really good for NASCAR. I know they will handle it properly.”

IndyCar: Miller Lite Carb Day

Larson already was assured of a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs by having won two of the first 13 races in 2024. But that eligibility is now in doubt because he missed the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in the 108th Indianapolis 500. The 500-Mile Race was delayed four hours because of rain May 26.

Larson and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon decided to make Larson’s effort in the Indy 500 its top priority and have Justin Allgaier start the 600 in Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet stock car.

Larson made every effort to reclaim his ride in the race and arrived at Charlotte at 9:13 p.m. ET Sunday night. Ten minutes after he arrived and waited in the pits to take over the ride, a storm hit the speedway, and the race was red-flagged.

Racing never resumed, and the race was called official with Christopher Bell as the winner.

Because Larson skipped a NASCAR Cup Series race, he must get a playoff waiver from the sanctioning body to participate in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Per NASCAR rules, a driver must start all 26 regular-season races to be eligible for the playoffs.

As of Tuesday morning, a competition official had said NASCAR was awaiting a waiver request from Hendrick Motorsports.



NASCAR confirms discussions about granting Kyle Larson a playoff waiver but no request yet by Hendrick

Hendrick Motorsports has yet to submit a request for a waiver if Larson misses the start of the Coca-Cola 600.

In the past, waivers have gone to drivers who missed races because of injuries but still were allowed to qualify for the playoffs.

This would be the first time a driver got a waiver for missing a NASCAR Cup Series race to compete in a race for another major racing series.

Larson is one of NASCAR’s star drivers and a top driver for Chevrolet.

“Well, first of all, the Hendrick organization will be interfacing with NASCAR on that,” Campbell, the U.S. vice president of GM performance and motorsports, told “What Kyle did for all motorsports was really elevate the profile of what’s happening in NASCAR. Also, his skill set to apply it to another series like IndyCar and show his skill set.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

“He’s an amazing driver. He’s a NASCAR champion. He shows that he can run in any different series, and he elevated all motor sports and got attention.

“We have IndyCar fans that are now checking out and becoming fans of what’s happening in NASCAR because of Kyle and then I think there are some NASCAR fans checking out a little bit what’s going on with IndyCar, so I think it’s a win all the way around.

“The decision is up to NASCAR, and I know the Hendrick organization is making the case.”

NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner Rick Hendrick teamed with NASCAR chairman Jim France last year to help field an entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The joint effort between Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR put the Chevrolet Camaro as the “Garage 56” entry in the prestigious race.

Le Mans 24 Hour Race - Car Parade

Le Mans 24 Hour Race – Car Parade

The NASCAR Chevrolet stock car was quite popular at Le Mans, completed the 24-hour race and elevated NASCAR’s place in international motorsports.

“Well Garage 56 was an initiative on its own,” Campbell said. “It was a win, I think, for, obviously, Chevrolet and Goodyear and Hendrick in NASCAR at Le Mans on a worldwide stage.

“I think the team just did a fabulous job and got a lot of attention for NASCAR. These are all positive things for increasing attention on NASCAR. It’s all positive.

“So, again, NASCAR leadership will consider all the facts and make their calls.

“It’s their call.”

NASCAR Garage 56 specs

NASCAR Garage 56 specs

Full specs revealed for NASCAR Garage 56 Camaro that will race 24 Hours of Le Mans

Full specs were unveiled for the Garage 56 Camaro that will race the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a joint project of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. asked Campbell if he were surprised by the perceived delay and possible pushback from NASCAR on Larson’s Indy 500 effort.

“I think that Kyle has done a lot of positives,” Campbell said. “He is a champion of NASCAR; he brought a lot of attention to series that’s going to help grow the NASCAR series by being part of that IndyCar effort in the Indianapolis 500.

“For us, he runs Chevrolets in NASCAR and ran a Chevy powertrain in IndyCar.

“We see it as a win-win, and I hope they do, too.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500 



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