By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR met with a council of Sprint Cup Series drivers Saturday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. According to various reports from the NASCAR media corps, the group of drivers meeting with NASCAR included Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, and possibly others.
There are no specific reports on comments made or a complete list of participants, but drivers in the meeting have confirmed that discussions included safety and the quality of racing.
Stewart told NASCAR.com that the meeting was “very, very positive.”
NASCAR Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell discussed the meeting Monday during his weekly appearance on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“It’s something we’ve always done in terms of meeting with the drivers,” O’Donnell said. “We certainly meet with them individually, and we have met during the preseason more formally. I think you’ve seen us form the (manufacturer) council, and we meet with the tracks, and it’s gone really well in terms of opening the dialogue with everyone in the industry. It’s something the drivers had talked about, and we had looked at, as well as a potential formation of a drivers’ council. It was a little more formal in terms of the drivers bringing in the drivers they did. We put some criteria around it. But really (it was) the first formal, if you want to call it, drivers’ council meeting. We’ll continue to do those.”
According to a report on NBC Sports’ NASCAR Talk website, drivers were tasked with selecting a panel of drivers to represent them on the council, and that the drivers selected were to represent all manufacturers, as well as a large cross-section of race teams and driver experience levels.
According to Greg Biffle, who confirmed he wasn’t in the meeting, he was one of the first drivers to discuss the possibilities of a drivers’ council in September. 2014.
“It was a past champion, top Ford, top Chevy, top Toyota drivers,” Biffle said of the council, according to a story on NASCAR.com. “That’s kind of how the council’s made up. Then we discuss the issues, and they go on and meet with NASCAR so we can all stay on the same page and not be surprised by anything. And we all have the same agenda. We want great racing, close side-by-side racing, competitive and safe for the drivers.”
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