NASCAR America: Waiver system makes it easier for drivers to sit out when needed

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NASCAR on NBC analysts Ray Evernham and Jeff Burton discussed how NASCAR’s waiver system has changed things for drivers when examining their health and if they should compete.

Hendrick Motorsports stated Thursday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because of “concussion-like symptoms.”

NASCAR has not granted Earnhardt a waiver at this time — and the team hasn’t said if one has been requested at this point — but the chance to have a waiver and still make the Chase seem likely for Earnhardt, depending on how long he will have to sit out.

“I’ve heard some people criticize the waiver system and say that, ‘Well, Kyle Busch, he didn’t even run all the races last year, he shouldn’t have been the champion,’ ” Burton said on NASCAR America, referring to last year’s Cup champion who missed the first 11 races last year after being injured in an Xfinity race. “Well, in other sports, someone else could have stepped in and that team could have continued to play.

“In this sport in the past, you were done, you were out. This system provides an opportunity for Dale Jr. to say, ‘Hey, I’m not right, I’ve got to get this taken care of’.’ I think that is a good part. Now, we can’t take advantage of it. There needs to be real reasons why a driver is stepping out of the car beyond a shadow of the doubt. Ultimately, this system allows you to step out when you’re not feeling right.”