NASCAR requires drivers to run all races in a season to be playoff eligible; Exceptions…
In order to make a run at the NASCAR Cup Series title, drivers must run all the events on the schedule and remain in the top 30 to be eligible. But, there are exceptions…
Kenseth: Matt Kenseth has abruptly jumped out of retirement. Four races into the current season, he’ll jump on as a full-time driver of the No. 42.
Chip Ganassi Racing has hired Kenseth to replace Kyle Larson who was let go after use of the n-word on a LIVE iRacing event.
Newman: Ryan Newman has missed the last three races. He was injured in a crash at Daytona International Speedway.
Newman was released from the hospital days later. However, he was not immediately cleared to race.
He will now return to the No. 6 machine as the season restarts in mid-May. The NASCAR medical team has cleared Newman to re-join the field.
Newman announced his return on Sunday during the LIVE iRacing broadcast.
NASCAR officials give Newman, Kenseth a waiver
Both of these drivers will also be eligible to run for a NASCAR Championship in 2020.
The waiver means that for each driver, a win would put them into the playoffs. They are not required to be in the top-30 in points. They could then make a run at the championship, given a win.
Kenseth went the last 7 straight years of his full-time career with at least one win per season. In 2015, he tired his record for wins in a single season at five.
Ryan Newman’s last win came in 2017. However, he did make the playoff cut on points alone in his debut with Roush Fenway Racing in 2018.
Kyle Busch injured his foot in a crash at Daytona that took him out of the seat in 2015. He missed 11 races and came back to win the championship that year.