Despite missing the first 11 races this season, Kyle Busch is eligible to compete for the NASCAR championship.

NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has granted Busch a waiver that would allow the Joe Gibbs Racing star to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Busch, who is returning to racing this weekend, needs a victory and to be 30th or better in the point standings after 26 races to qualify.

NASCAR requires drivers to start every points race to be eligible for the Chase. Busch has been sidelined since breaking his right leg and left foot in a Feb. 21 crash in the Xfinity Series opener.

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, says "the spirit of the rule never was designed to punish drivers who are unable to compete due to extenuating circumstances such as recovering from a racing accident."