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Tony Stewart Granted Waiver for Chase Eligibility

If Tony Stewart wins one of the final two races before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, he will be allowed to compete in the Chase, despite the fact that he hasn’t met all the criteria.

NASCAR President Mike Helton announced the waiver during a press conference on Friday afternoon following a statement from Stewart himself. Stewart has missed the last three races after being involved in a crash during a sprint car race at Canandigua Motorsports Park that took the life of 20-year-old Kevin Ward, Jr.

Under Chase eligibility rules, a driver must attempt to qualify for every points-paying race in order to remain eligible for the Chase. This is the first year of NASCAR’s new Chase Grid, where a driving winning a race automatically qualifies them for the final 10-race playoff system.

However, as a part of its rules, NASCAR did add an “except in rare instances” clause and determined that this was one of those instances.

For coverage of Stewart’s press conference and return to the track, click here.

About Summer Bedgood

Summer Bedgood
Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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  1. Can you imagine the NFL doing something like this? No wonder people look at you a little funny if you say you’re a Nascar fan.

  2. Disgusting, reminds me of Jeff Gordon getting to be the 13th “Chaser” . Brian France and company are fools. The rules apparently do not apply at any juncture..unless it is a favorite. And for some strange reason Tony Stewart and his extra curricular activity turning horrific qualifies. Brian is an idiot, imo. What business sense does this make..oh wait, forget rules..too much money to be made with “Smoke” back on the race track. These people are pathetic. Very telling he “decides” to race with two races to go. Nascar thinks most of their fans are fools and no doubt they are banking on the “fans” of TS to be distracted that he is racing. Prayers still for the Ward family. Stay home Tony, until the dust settles. It’s not all about you..despite what your sponsors tell you…morally. The coverage this Friday has been shameful. Treating him like he was a conquering hero returning.

    • Amen. I’m not a fan of either the Busch brothers, but for some reason I think one of them was involved in this incident they would not receive a Chase dispensation under the rare instance caveat.

  3. So “by choice” is a rare instance. Got it,