Kyle Busch, Chase Waivers & The Spirit Of The Law

Kyle Busch celebrates Sonoma


The letter of the law says for a driver to be eligible the Chase For the Championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series they must: 1. Participate in all championship events, 2. A driver must have at least one win and be in the top 30 in points, and 3. Should there be any remaining spots open for the 16 driver field, they will be granted based on a driver’s ranking in the points. It all makes sense.

The spirit of the law regarding Chase qualification is this: you get drivers going for wins and failing that, aiming for consistency. As for the first item on the list above, it’s not hard to grasp the logic of weekly participation. It keeps the drivers out on the track week after week, all facing the same rigors each event presents- whether it be track conditions, competing drivers and the cars themselves. In a way it’s like making a PGA golfer walk the course, and not have some walking, while others ride around in carts. If it were as simple as merely “you win and you’re in” it’s not completely far-fetched that a Michael Waltrip could snag a win at Daytona,or a Boris Said could win at Sonoma and get in the Chase. We all know how wonky the Chase can get. It’s not impossible, where it not for the rules, that a part-timer could go all the way and win it. We almost had a winless champion didn’t we?

Now that Kyle Busch has one victory on the 2015, he’s cleared one major hurdle. Having earned that, and 125 points in five races, he needs to roll up about 295 points over 10 races. In other words, Rowdy needs to average about a 14th place finish.

For a driver of the caliber of Kyle Busch, it’s quite doable. Thanks to his talent and fearlessness, another win (or two, or more) is not out of the question. In six of his 10 full season, he’s had an average finish of 14th or better. With that said, it won’t be easy.

Busch has already endured two disastrous runs- a 36th place finish at Dover, and he ended up dead last at Michigan. For all his winning (30 in the NSCS to be exact)- the 30-year old has gone through some real roller coaster rides. While he’s apparently mellowed some since marriage and fatherhood, there are still those days when that Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota equipment fails to put him in a position to win. His teammates have had their ups and downs; only Matt Kenseth currently sits inside the top 10, 137 points out of first.

For Kyle Busch, making the 2015 Chase is simple, it’s doable, but it’s not easy. If he makes it, he will worked his fanny off to get there, all while recovering from the broken leg and broken foot he suffered at Daytona. I have NO problem with the terms of Kyle Busch’s Chase eligibility. It’s not like he missed time due to suspension, or some other issue. If Kyle Busch can contend it will be one of the great sports stories of 2015.