CONCORD, NC – Trophy drivers expressed their feelings to NASCAR about the sanctioning authority’s safety efforts at a meeting that some competitors called a product, but one likened it to “broadcasting grievances” from the “Seinfeld” show.
Saturday morning’s meeting at Charlotte Motor Speedway lasted 75 minutes. A NASCAR spokesperson said officials were open to another meeting because they were unable to complete the presentation because the drivers had too many questions and comments. Several drivers said they hope to meet officials again in the near future.
Saturday’s meeting took place a day before three full-time drivers missed the same Cup race due to crash-related injuries. This is believed to be the first time this has happened in at least 20 years.
Kurt Busch He will miss his 12th race in a row due to concussion-like symptoms. Alex Bowman He will miss his second race in a row for the same issue. kodi ware He skips this race after breaking his ankle two weeks ago in a crash in Texas.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps spoke at the beginning of the meeting and Tell competitors that officials care about driver safety. John Patalak, managing director of safety engineering at NASCAR, led most of the session. John Probst, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation also spoke. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France attended the meeting but did not speak.
Kevin HarvickAnd the who has been one of the most vocal drivers about NASCAR’s safety efforts This season, he said he wants to see more.
“Actions are much louder than words,” Harvick told NBC Sports and The Associated Press. “This is what we need to see.”
Harvick also said Saturday’s meeting was a “good communication step”.
When asked if he feels safe in this car, Harvick said: “There are definitely more risks than we’ve seen in the past, as we’ve seen with three out of the 36 men.”
When asked if he remembers a time when a large number of drivers were out with injuries, Harvick said: “I don’t want to see it like 2001 (the year of Dale Earnhardt’s death at the Daytona 500)”.
NASCAR told drivers that Wednesday’s crash test of the rear bumper and rear section structure went well. These new parts will be on the car next season. Based on driver feedback, chain officials will begin by checking the front bumper structure.
NASCAR executives did not speak to the media after the meeting, but Phelps will be counting down the Green on Sunday (1 p.m. ET on NBC) ahead of the Cup playoff race.
A NASCAR spokesperson said the sanctioning body was pleased with the meeting and described the discussion as “candid” and “candid” but not emotional.
Denny HamlinAnd the who has also been an outspoken critic of NASCAR’s safety efforts He called for the car to be redesigned, and said he felt “there is a sense of urgency on the part of[NASCAR]”.
Joey LoganoA driver’s advisory board member who was part of the safety discussions described Saturday’s meeting as “productive.
“It was good. It was open. They are listening to us and there is work to be done and some work has already been done, which is good. It’s a start.”
Eric Jones He described the meeting as “a lot of Seinfeld airing grievances than a meeting of a lot of men.”
Corey Lagoya member of the Drivers Advisory Council who was part of the safety discussions, left the meeting disappointed.
“The guys don’t let it get ahead,” Lajoie told NBC Sports of his fellow competitors. “They want to talk about how we got here rather than how to get from here forward. It’s so frustrating.
“We want to argue about this or that or that crash data…We have what we have now. Guys, we’re going to be driving these cars today. It doesn’t matter how we got into this car. It’s about how we move forward, no one is letting NASCAR talk and address these issues.” “.
Christopher Bell He said the meeting was “definitely tense” on the driver’s side.
He said, “NASCAR has done a good job of trying to answer the questions the drivers have asked, but you can tell there is frustration.”
Lugano also referred to the drivers’ questions.
“I think everyone has spoken honestly about their feelings and experiences and wants to know why we’re in the situation we’re in. That’s a fair question. I think NASCAR understood that those were fair questions and weren’t very defensive about it.”
Tyler Riddick He said the meeting proved beneficial.
“We are now in a much better position than we were before we went to this meeting,” he said. “Obviously, we all agree we have a lot of things to work on though. The plan is to do it together.”