Joey Logano Responds to Backlash Over Comments on Kyle Larson's NASCAR Waiver

“This is about the grayest rule we have in our sport. It can be black and white, but it’s not."

by Sead Dedovic
Joey Logano Responds to Backlash Over Comments on Kyle Larson's NASCAR Waiver
© Sean Gardner/Getty Images Sport

There's a lot of talk about whether Kyle Larson deserves a waiver after missing the previous Coca-Cola 600 race due to weather delays at the Indy 500. Looking at the current NASCAR rules, a driver must start all races from the beginning of the season to be eligible for the playoffs. 

Of course, NASCAR can make exceptions in some cases, such as medical reasons, if the driver is sick or injured. They also have personal reasons, such as family obligations. In addition to that, unforeseen circumstances like weather conditions or technical issues with the vehicle, as well as special events, where they can sometimes compete outside the regular schedule. NASCAR officials make such decisions, and many believe that this time the decision will be in Larson's favor.

Joey Logano, the winner of the recent NASCAR All-Star Race, has given his comment on the matter. He emphasizes that it will be difficult to make the right decision, considering that some rules are not clearly defined when it comes to this case. After the criticisms that followed, and after many believe that Logano implies Larson shouldn't receive a waiver, Joey decided to respond. This experienced NASCAR driver confirmed that he hasn't chosen any side but acknowledged that NASCAR has a tough decision ahead of them.

“If anyone listened to what I said yesterday, I never picked a side. I was pointing out the tough decision that NASCAR is in. Since words have been twisted yet again… here’s what I think."- Logano wrote on social media.

Furthermore, Logano emphasized that Larson is a big name in the NASCAR scene, and considering his career achievements, he should be granted a waiver.

“What Larson did for Motorsports was amazing, and he should get the waiver.”- he continued.

Joey Logano and Kyle Larson
Joey Logano and Kyle Larson© Logan Riely/Getty Images Sport

A particularly concerning fact is that the 31-year-old Larson is currently in third place and has an excellent chance of winning the championship this year. If NASCAR does not allow the waiver, it would truly be a catastrophic situation for him. As we have already mentioned, Logano commented on Larson's situation a few days ago, prompting criticism. He specifically shared his opinion on Sirius XM radio, considering the situation to be 'pretty gray'.

“This is about the grayest rule we have in our sport. It can be black and white, but it’s not. And so, it’s pretty gray. It’s one thing if you get hurt in the racecar. That’s black and white, in my opinion. If you’re driving a Cup car, you get hurt in a NASCAR cup car, the waiver makes sense to me to where you can still compete in the playoffs if you make the playoffs."- Joey Logano said.

Logano weighed whether incidents like car accidents or injuries from non-racing activities should warrant a waiver. He suggested that the circumstances surrounding such incidents, such as reckless driving or engaging in risky activities, could influence whether a waiver is justified. For example, he mentioned Chase Elliott's injury from snowboarding last year as another gray area, indicating uncertainty about whether a waiver should be granted in such cases. Logano expressed ambiguity about the appropriate course of action in such situations, stressing the complexity and subjectivity involved in making these decisions.

Joey Logano on Larson's decision to prioritize the Indy 500 over the Coca-Cola 600

Joey reflected on Larson's decision to prioritize the Indy 500 over the Coca-Cola 600, acknowledging the impressive feat of attempting to compete in both races in one day. However, he pointed out that Larson's choice put IndyCar racing ahead of NASCAR in terms of importance for him on that particular day. 

Joey Logano
Joey Logano© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images Sport

This is also one of the arguments many are making, believing that Larson should have thought more wisely and realized how challenging it is to do such a thing. The 31-year-old placed a huge burden on his shoulders, aiming to fight on two fronts. It turned out to be the wrong decision, but things are not yet over for him, as NASCAR officials are the ones who have the final say.

Logano stressed that he wasn't there to make the decision about whether Larson should receive a waiver or not. He presented the facts as they were and expressed admiration for Larson's ambitious effort, without detracting from his accomplishment. 

Kyle Larson reacted 

Kyle Larson expressed his disappointment via X, stating that it was one of the most disappointing days of his life. Although he expected things to look very different, luck did not favor him that day. Larson emphasized that such a situation "kills" him, believing that he has disappointed many people. However, he is grateful to everyone for their support, hoping that he can still win the championship.

Joey Logano Kyle Larson