Back when NASCAR announced that Kyle Busch would receive a waiver, allowing him to compete for a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth by winning races and getting himself into the top-30 of the championship points standings by the checkered flag at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Sept. 12, there was a lot of debate regarding whether or not the decision by the sanctioning body to overlook Busch missing 11 races when sidelined by injury was the right call.
I admit, at the time, I thought the decision was a non-factor. After all, Busch re-entered NASCAR competition for the Coca-Cola 600 in such a deep hole, points wise. Also, he had yet to drive a 2015 Sprint Cup car in a competition environment other than in shorter races like the Sprint Unlimited and a Duel race. Remember, his injuries came in the Xfinity Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the day before he was to compete in the Daytona 500, the Sprint Cup Series official season opener.
Boy, was I wrong. Sure, Busch isn’t in the top-30 yet, but he sure is moving toward top-30 territory quickly. After struggling in his first races back, he’s won three of the last four races. Race win — check. And how better to make up points than win races? There is the option of leading the most laps. The task of leading laps — check.
I’m rethinking my stance that the row is going to be too tough to hoe for Busch’s waiver to matter. I take that back. I’m scrapping that mindset altogether. Now, I’m wondering how soon Busch is going to get into the top-30.
I kind of have mixed feelings on the waiver. There’s a part of me that thinks 11 races are just way too many to be missed and still be eligible for a championship. Then again, who doesn’t love an underdog story. The guy, basically, gave everyone else an 11-race head start. I think that qualifies him as somewhat of an underdog.
I’ll just put those mixed feelings on the back burner. After all, what’s the point in trying to sort them out? NASCAR made its decision. It is what it is. I’m just going to enjoy watching the journey.
Lets be real. Busch is going to be in the Chase, like it or not. How many more races do you think it’ll take for him to get back into the top-30? Take an online poll.
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