Talladega: The Biggest, Fastest, Most Vicious – NASCAR Talk

TLADEGA, ALA – The Friday Cup drivers met with Jeff Burton, Manager Drivers Advisory Counciland they discussed safety issues ahead of this weekend’s knockout race, which will be without drivers due to concussion-like symptoms from crashes.

Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch will not be racing on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Bush sustained a head injury in a plane crash in Pocono in July. Bowman’s injury came in the wake of last weekend’s crash at Texas Motor Speedway. Both were injured in two accidents where the rear of the car hit a whistle first.

Two drivers injured in less than three months – and the series racing on a circuit with potential accidents – is causing tension in the Cup garage.

Denny Hamlin criticized NASCAR on Saturday, saying it was ‘bad driving’. For not addressing drivers’ safety concerns with the vehicle. Hamlin also said that the next generation car needed a redesign.

Burton, who is also an analyst for NBC Sports, said in an exclusive interview that Friday’s meeting was long because there were several topics to discuss. Burton did not go into detail on all the topics.

Safety was a key element of that meeting. Burton, whose role with the Drivers Advisory Board is to coordinate the group and communicate with NASCAR, discussed the level of cooperation with NASCAR.

“We feel like we have a collaboration with NASCAR,” he said. “We know NASCAR’s commitments. They’ve made real commitments to us. We want to see those commitments fulfilled. I think we’ll do that in terms of changes to the car.

We want to come to a conclusion as quickly as possible. They make commitments to us and show us what’s going on, they communicate with us about the timing, we want to finish, as they do.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make some changes before the end of last week. It takes a long time to test things out.”

NASCAR has a crash test scheduled next week on a new rear section and rear fender. Even if the tests go well, there is not enough time to make any such changes this season with five races remaining.

Frustration with drivers – expressed by Hamlin and Kevin Harvick Problems with a stiffer vehicle have been reported to NASCAR for over a year. Some questions were raised after William Byron It crashed in a test in March 2020 at Auto Club Speedway.

“William Byron smashed his ass at (Auto Club) Speedway, and he should have raised that red flag off the bat,” Harvick said on Saturday.

Hamlin said more drivers should talk about their concerns about the car.

“I know a lot of young people are just happy to be here, but they won’t be happy when their brains are scrambling for the rest of their lives,” Hamlin said.

Byron is looking for changes to be made.

“I want to have a long career,” he said, “and I don’t want to have a series of concussions that either make me have to get out of the car or think about long-term things.”

Chase Elliot On Saturday, he also shared his frustrations.

“You come in a week like in Texas and somebody got injured and then you come in here, where chances are we’re all going to bump into something at some point (Sunday) and maybe not so lightly at that time,” Elliott said. .

So what do drivers do?

“Do you just not come?” Elliott said. “Are you just not running? I don’t think it can be brought up. There is always risk inherent in what we do and it has always been.

“I feel frustrated… I just hate putting ourselves in the box we are in right now. It’s frustrating that we put ourselves here and had a choice. We did this ourselves as an industry.

“This should never have been the case. We shouldn’t put ourselves in the box we are in now. So my disappointment is that we had years and time and opportunity to get this thing right before we put it on the right track and we didn’t, and now we have to fix it.

“I just hate that we did it. I think we’re smarter than that. I think there are a lot of men and women who work in this garage and know better and we shouldn’t be here.”

Burton told NBC Sports that at Friday’s meeting the drivers did not discuss running a single file in Sunday’s race as a form of protest.

“It wouldn’t be surprising for me to see one file (the race on Sunday) because of what happened in Texas and what could happen next week (at Charlotte Roval),” Burton said. Drivers need a period of calm.

“There was no discussion or joint effort or any kind of thing about how to race (Sunday). That conversation didn’t come up in that meeting.”

Harvick said Saturday that he will continue to talk about safety issues.

“I’m going to do whatever I have to do to make sure these guys are in a good place,” Harvick said. “All I have to do.”

Harvick later said, “I don’t think any of us want to be in this position. We have to have the security we deserve to go out and put on a great show and be comfortable with that.”

“Obviously we’ve all run the risk of being race car drivers, but there’s no reason why we should be worse off than we were last year.”

It’s a matter of trust, Harvick said.

“The reality of the situation is very different from what they look at,” Harvick said of NASCAR officials. “I think the level of trust is clearly not where it should be from fixing it. I think they are going to have to get that level of trust back again to respond quickly enough to do the things it takes. The opinion of the drivers, especially when it comes to the security side of things, should be, More important than data or more important than cost. Safety can never be a budget item.”

Corey LagoyWhile the challenges remain with the car, he sees the effort NASCAR is making, said he, who is on the board of the Drivers Advisory Council.

“Nothing happens quickly in this deal when you have 38 teams and you have seven cars per team,” Lajoie told NBC Sports. “It has to be a well-thought-out process to implement the changes.

“It’s easy to get up your arm and spiky when we have guys like Alex and Kurt. You never want that to happen. Every conversation I have is what we, as the Drivers Council, try to get in touch with NASCAR and NASCAR to make proactive changes and move timelines aggressively to try and implement those changes.” .”

Leave a Comment