NASCAR official cites precedent for Chase Elliott to receive a waiver NASCAR Power Rankings: Ross Chastain rolls into No. 1 spot Winners and losers at Las Vegas Motor Speedway What drivers said at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Josh Berry finishes 29th for Chase Elliott at Las Vegas
A senior NASCAR official awaits Chase Elliott receiving a playoff waiver when Elliot returned to competition, citing a situation similar to that of Tony Stewart being waived due to an off-track injury.
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competitions, made the comment Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Morning Drive” program.
Elliot broke his left tibia while snowboarding in Colorado on Friday. Hendrick Motorsports has not set a timetable for Elliott’s return. Josh Berry drove car number 9 last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing 29th. The team has not announced a driver for this weekend’s race in Phoenix.
Drivers must start in each race to be eligible for the playoffs. Elliott would need a playoff waiver provided he wins the regular season race. Last offseason, NASCAR removed the condition that Cup drivers must be in the top 30 in points to be eligible for the playoffs.
Asked about the possibility of giving Elliott a waiver after he receives medical clearance to return, Sawyer told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, “I don’t see any reason why he won’t be given a waiver, but we will go through the process and make sure we check all checkboxes.
While Sawyer noted that decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, he cited the example of Stewart in 2016. Stewart suffered an explosive fracture of his L1 vertebra in a traffic accident in the sand dunes of the Californian desert a few weeks prior. season. He missed the first eight races of the season. NASCAR granted him a playoff waiver shortly before he returned to action. That season, Stewart won at Sonoma and made the playoffs. He was eliminated in the first round and finished 15th in the season standings.
Sawyer said of Elliott’s rejection decision process, “Whether it’s on the racetrack…or off the racetrack in this particular case, we’ll gather all the information, we’ll sit down and make the right decision. move forward.”
NASCAR on NBC analytics Kyle Petty said on NBC’s NASCAR podcast that Elliott should get a playoff waiver..
“God bless the NASCAR fans,” Petty said. “We praise Kyle Bush And Kyle Larson and all these guys who go out and race six nights a week in winged sprint cars and go-karts and midgets and whatever, but God forbid, snowboarding won’t get you hurt. You just can’t do it people. I don’t know where you’ve all been, but you just can’t do it.
“I look at it this way: yes, he should be rejected. … The thing is, I don’t care how you get hurt or what happens, that’s what medical denial is for. Medical denial extends to injury, illness, death in the family, whatever that may be. That’s what it’s for.”
NBC NASCAR analysts Steve Lethart and Jeff Burton say Elliott should be turned down.
“You have to manage your risks, but snowboarding is not on the list of crazy things to do in my opinion,” Letart said. “We see drivers driving other cars. Everyone should have an exit. I agree with (Kevin) Harvick and his opinion that on Sundays you will find something to take your mind off the competition.”
Burton said, “I don’t think this is a case where NASCAR should look at this and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to get him rejected because he got hurt snowboarding.’
Elliot finished 38th in the season-opening Daytona 500 and was second the following week at Auto Club Speedway prior to injury.
👋🏼 “I don’t see any reason why he won’t be denied.”
🗣️ #NASCAR Elton Sawyer, Senior Vice President for Competition, spoke about this. #TMDNASCAR deal with @chaseelliottThe injury situation is nothing new to the sanctioning body and they consider waivers on a case by case basis. pic.twitter.com/CyAY1fz9ms
– SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) March 7, 2023
Ross Chastainstarting what looks like another strong season with Trackhouse Racing, climbing to number one in the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings.
Chastain finished ninth (Daytona), third (Auto Club) and 12th (Las Vegas) at the start of the season. He led 97 laps.
MORE: NASCAR official cites precedent when Chase Elliott got rejected
Kyle Bush dropped from first to second after No. 14 on Sunday in Las Vegas.
New to the rankings this week is the Vegas winner. William Byronwhose outstanding day in the desert propelled him to fifth place in the rankings, and Kyle Larsonwhich was strong the second Sunday.
NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking
1. Ross Chastain (second last week) — Chastain disappeared towards the end in Las Vegas on Sunday but continued to show he was likely to be a weekly threat to win.
2. Kyle Busch (first last week) Bush’s 14th place in Vegas is not a good indicator of how well he ran there.
3. Danny Hamlin (fifth last week) Hamlin led 10 laps in Las Vegas and ended up winning.
4. Alex Bowman (sixth last week) Bowman was third in line at the Hendrick Motorsports one-two-three finish in Vegas. This year he finished fifth, eighth and third and led all three races.
5. William Byron (not ranked last week) Byron dominated Vegas embarrassingly, leading 176 laps and passing teammate Kyle Larson in overtime for the win.
6. Christopher Bell (seventh last week) – Bell bounced back with fifth in Vegas after an accident left him 32nd in the Auto Club. He will look to improve in Phoenix, at a track where he has never led a single lap.
7. Daniel Suarez (ninth last week) Suarez has been in the top 10 in all three races and, along with teammate Ross Chastain, has brought attention to Trackhouse Racing.
8. Kyle Larson (Unranked last week) “Had it not been for the late race warning, Larson would probably have won in Vegas despite William Byron’s powerful streak.
9. Kevin Harvick (8th last week) Harvick finished ninth in Vegas a week before his magical Phoenix track.
10. Joey Logano (third last week) — After a tough race in Vegas and finishing in last place, Logano is dropping in the rankings.
Dropped: Chase Elliott (fourth last week) Brad Keselowski (10th place last week).
Take a look at the winners and losers of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
William Byron Byron destroyed the rest of the field in Vegas. His Chevrolet raced at wind speed for most of the day, leading 176 of the race’s 271 laps. Despite a strong streak, he had to pull himself together in overtime to take the win.
Kyle Larson – Larson raced in the shadow of William Byron for most of the way, and then took first place in the final stage. He likely would have won the race had it not been for a warning late in the race that caused the teams to clash in overtime.
Alex Bowman — He finished third, giving Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2-3 result. Bowman’s 85 points in the first two West Coast Swing races is second in the series. Ross Chastain91 points.
Daniel Suarez Suárez did not lead any laps but his 10th place gives him a top ten spot in all three Cup races to date and puts him in fourth place in points.
Justin Hailey “Haley had a solid race and ended up behind the top group with a 8th place finish, his best finish of the year. The finish moved him up seven points in points to 23rd.
Corey Lajoie – Lajoie has finished 20th and placed in the top 20 (16th at Dayton, 14th at Auto Club) in all three races to date.
Chase Briscoe And Ryan Price – Although Kevin Harvick finished ninth and found himself in a mess ahead at the end of the race, his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates stumbled. Briscoe finished two laps 28th.. Preece was one lap behind the leaders in 23rd place.
Noah Gragson Gragson had a tough day with three…