Tony Stewart made his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup over the weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, the race probably wasn't as triumphant as he had hoped. Stewart started in a strong 12th place but eventually had to retire midway through the event. It gives him just one last chance to make it into the Chase for the Sprint Cup and compete for a chance to win his fourth series championship. To do it, he would need to win the upcoming race at Richmond International Raceway. Although, some people are questioning whether that's fair.

To make it into the Chase, a NASCAR driver either has to win during the regular season or make it in based on points among the non-winners. However, a further caveat stipulates that competitors have to try to qualify for all of the races to be eligible. Following the fatal accident on August 9, Stewart missed qualifying for two events. However, NASCAR officials granted him a medical waiver that potentially got him into the Chase, if he won in Atlanta or Virginia.

NASCAR's rules over granting one of these waivers are somewhat unclear. According to Autoweek, a driver has to be suffering from a "pretty severe condition." It's up to the sport to determine what this means, and official's hired third-party experts to evaluate Stewart. However, some people have questioned whether Stewart's mental anguish really met this level.

There doesn't appear to be much consensus among drivers. "I think the whole intent of eligibility for the Chase is so somebody doesn't just go take a vacation after winning a few races. That's the way I look at it," said driver Jeff Gordon to Autoweek.

However, other drivers are somewhat less sure. "The only real feeling I have is that there should be more information available than what there is," said Brad Keselowski to Autoweek. He feels as though there aren't enough facts out there to form a reasoned opinion about the waiver.

So do you think Stewart deserved the medical waiver that could potentially put him into the Chase? Let us know in the poll below.

Should Tony Stewart have received a medical waiver from NASCAR?
Yes 2641 (39.3%)
No 3360 (50.1%)
I'm not sure. 711 (10.6%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago

      Saw this coming a mile away. If NASCAR discouraged him from racing to calm nerves in the sport, then they owe him a waiver. And I have little doubt they did.

      The rule is there for the good of the sport, to keep drivers from avoiding later races once they qualify for the chase. In this case, it was better for the sport to let him sit out than have him show.

      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago

      hes not gonna win next week anyway so it doesnt matter. But I see no problem with this, hes still in the top 30 in points (the other part of the rule)

      Im with gordon, I believe the rule was more of an issue where they dont want someone winning, and than not racing at tracks they may not like or whatever because they already made the playoffs.

      Denny missed a race or 2 and he got a waiver this year (has a win) and will be in the chase. 

      im not a tony fan, but i think that its fair 

        Ronnie Grooms
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pj Taintz

        They can't do that...they have an obligation to their team owner and more importantly sponsors that are putting out big money in an economy that hasn't been great lately. I know if I was a car owner my driver wouldn't be taking any race weekends off if he was already in the chase....the fans also deserve more than that too paying top dollar for tickets to see their favorite driver race. Jeff Gordon is an idiot to say something like that...but then again I've never been that crazy about him anyway.

          Pj Taintz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ronnie Grooms

          i know about all the obligations, my point stands thought thats what the FEAR is, not the reality. I dont like gordon either (im a brad K and dale Jr guy) but i dont disagree with him. tony was out for mental health issues IMO

      • 1 Year Ago *Edited*

      NASCAR cronyism at its finest.You can practically hear Mike Helton and  Brian France counting  $1 for me $1 for you.... Cue the Two Big Bills in the grave who took this sport to the top to start to turn in 3...2..1..... RIP

        • 1 Year Ago

        what about 0nes that couldnt race for medical reason they never got any they lost out to try for the cahse

      • 1 Year Ago

      No rage-oholic murderers should ever receive waivers, they should be doing jail time.

      • 1 Year Ago

      First off all of you who have not discovered this but big time racing is a business no matter if it is NASCAR, F1, World Rally or most forms of sports car racing outside the armature ranks of SCCA or NHRA. Sorry to bust your bubble but it is true.

      With that being the case NASCAR is in a better place to sell more tickets if Tony has a chance to compete vs, no chance. Besides it is a long shot at best anyways.

      Second it is time for Autoblog and many other web sites to stop using this death to run up numbers on their web site. They lie to vilify Stewart but he is not trying to make a buck off this death just as this web site and many others are.

      Finally it is time for some people to check their emotions and get a dose of reality. There is no driver and I mean no driver that would intentionally kill another driver out there {though I am watching Kyle Bush after Sunday Night Truex and the Hornaday ramming incident from a couple years ago LOL!}

      The fact is the kid all ramped up with poor vision with a helmet on walked into a tire plain and simple. It is clear even in the poor video Tony did not try to run him down and did not as some claim try to dust him. It was an accident and just that. Too bad you folks do not go after drunk or distracted drivers with the same velocity as you have Stewart as you could make a difference in many lives lost every year.

      You folks should be ashamed for getting sucked into this.  Like Stewart or not shit happens and if you get out of your car on a dark track and run at a car with a 3+foot wide Hoosier sticking out you are going to get hit if the wing did not get you first.

      People have been killed every year by getting out of the car or safety workers in the wrong place at the wrong time and you folks including Autoblog never report them or call for action in these cases and why because they too were racing accidents.

      I am an Earnhardt and Pearson from way back and to this day I still cringe at the folks who tried to blame Sterling Marlin for the accident that took Dale. Even the law suit his wife did to Simpson was uncalled for.

      You get in a race car you are at your own risk and if you get out on the track running around you are at your own peril.  It is bad enough we lost one life but there is no reason to try to trash another.

      Time to stop the Bull Sh$t and Autblog could and should lead the way.

      • 1 Year Ago

      I think Gordon's comments are on the mark. That, and I think the rule is there to ensure that some part-time team doesn't get a valuable chase spot with a fluke win. That clearly wouldn't be the case with Stewart. Calling the waiver "medical" seems corny but I think the decision is in the spirit of the rule.

        Pj Taintz
        • 1 Year Ago

        mental health is a legit medical issue. Im sure if i had just accidentally killed someone id want a few weeks to let it sink in as well. "medical" is correct but i see why it seems odd, far to many people dont take mental health seriously

          • 1 Year Ago
          @Pj Taintz

          Not you or any one of us has the slightest clue about the mental health of Tony Stewart. My comments aren't about taking mental health seriously, they're about working with the information we have. 

          Kevin Potts
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Pj Taintz

          Totally on the spot comment....Mental health is serious issue. There's no doubt Tony Stewart had some serious depression from accidently taking the life of a fellow driver. No driver wants to kill another driver...that's something sacred. I'm sure it crushed him and he needed time as well as the rest of the public. It was indeed a medical waiver. 

      • 1 Year Ago

      Why hasn't Stewart been charged yet?  Our justice system is horrible.

        • 1 Year Ago

        It was a accident. If you accidently hit someone with your car should you be charged? Shame on you.

      • 1 Year Ago
      If this was a driver from a smaller team there's no way they'd get the waiver. NASCAR is only doing this because it's $$$. Or at least the chance for more $$$. Outside of being the wrong decision what could they deny going forward as a waiver? Stewart was participating in a series OUTSIDE of NASCAR and he wasn't injured. He sat out because his PR people told hi to sit out. (Remember the whole "business as usual" comment from Zippy hours after the accidents?). Stewart would have raced in Watkins Glen if the PR guys hadn't jumped in. Good luck denying a waiver going forward NASCAR, you've opened Pandora's box. 
      • 1 Year Ago


      • 1 Year Ago

      Stewart should not even have a chance to win this series. That is the least of the punishment he should endure. I would retire at this point there is no need to prove himself as a great driver anymore. He already has plenty of money and fame. Set up a young drivers school teach kids how to drive, maybe he could save some lives for the one he has taken. 

      • 1 Year Ago

      Sup "KILLA!!!"

      • 1 Year Ago

      I know little about nascar or tony stewart.   But i have followed the situation after the tragic accident.

      Let's be realistic.   If he drove immediately after the fatal accident, people would hate on him or if he went for this waiver, they would also hate on him.

      Lose, Lose situation.  So just let him try to quality.  Probably unlikely he would win anyway. So what's the big deal.

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