Chase Elliott will miss six weeks or possibly longer after suffering a fractured tibia in a snowboarding accident one week ago. However, one NASCAR insider is taking a bold stance on Elliott’s injury for future scenarios.
What did the NASCAR insider have to say about the situation?
NASCAR insider talks about Chase Elliott’s injury and future situations
Elliott will now be out of the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports while he watches two drivers replace him for the next several weeks. Josh Berry, a JR Motorsports driver, will run all of the oval tracks while Jordan Taylor, a sports car star, will run at Circuit of the Americas.
It will be a hard experience for the 27-year-old driver as he watches his No. 9 car continue around the track without him. However, if it was up to one personality within NASCAR, Elliott’s return would possibly be met with some pushback relating to playoff eligibility.
Jordan Bianchi, a NASCAR insider for The Athletic, went on Door, Bumper, Clear and discussed what he would look at regarding Elliott’s injury if he was making the decisions on waivers.
“I believe that NASCAR hands out waivers too easily. I believe that there should be a heightened standard for what constitutes a driver receiving a waiver. In this instance, and again, I just want to say, Chase Elliott is going to get a waiver. If I was NASCAR, I am looking at this saying, ‘Wait a second. You did something outside of NASCAR, you did something outside of motorsports in general, and you put yourself at risk? Why are we giving you a waiver for something that you decided to do?’ I believe that NASCAR should maybe not in every instance like they have been doing, hand out waivers.”Jordan Bianchi on Chase Elliott’s injury relating to playoff waivers
Bianchi appears to be saying that while Elliott will be getting a waiver due to past incidents, such as Tony Stewart’s ATV accident, the precedent of receiving a waiver for something outside of NASCAR and racing, in general, is not a good one.
It is interesting to look at because Elliott did suffer his injury in a non-racing-related accident during the season on a snowboard. Personally, Elliott should absolutely receive a waiver for the 2023 playoffs.
However, a proposal below for NASCAR’s waiver system could put Elliott’s injury in question if this took place several years from now. Continue reading to find out what NASCAR should do about the waiver process!
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Evaluating if NASCAR should change the playoff eligibility process
NASCAR needs to update the waiver system but it cannot come until after the 2023 season. Many people want to argue that the sport should set a new precedent with Elliott’s situation but it would be truly unfair.
Maybe if Elliott knew that he would fully risk his chances at making the NASCAR playoffs while snowboarding, he would not have even taken the risk. It opens up a can of worms and truly makes it a controversial subject.
NASCAR can’t stop drivers from living their lives but at the same time, there clearly needs to be a line drawn on what makes you playoff eligible. First off, if there are zero reasons to miss a race and a driver does not have a ride, that should not make them playoff eligible.
Next, should NASCAR draw a line in making extreme, non-racing activities on a case-by-case basis for whether waivers should be approved? It truly is a difficult question to answer. Honestly, many people are probably happy they don’t have to make that decision.
There is a risk to putting yourself out there and snowboarding but the same can be said about anything. A driver could break their leg snowboarding or tripping on accident while playing a sport. The risk is simply elevated.
If NASCAR thinks an elevated risk for activities outside of racing is not good, then maybe the sport decides to make it on a case-by-case basis as stated above. Either way, it feels fair that the sport should update the rules and specifically add what is right and wrong.
Personally, the right idea for NASCAR would be to say that any activity outside of racing with a high risk of injury will not be granted. In Elliott’s case, it should not rise to a high enough risk.
An “activity outside of racing with a high risk of injury” should simply be saved for something that is irresponsibly done off the race track. The idea of snowboarding is not irresponsible as Elliott simply suffered an accident. Simply put, Jimmie Johnson’s golf cart accident in 2006 would not be approved for a waiver.
There is a line that can and should be drawn for waiver requests moving forward. It may not change much but adding something to give drivers the peace of mind to live their lives is important.