NASCAR tried to clear the air regarding some drivers’ criticism about the lack of action on drivers’ feedback on safety issues.
It is safe to say that the debut of the Next Gen car has not gone as planned, at least for some criteria. With the recent injury list building up, NASCAR has come under a lot of scrutiny from drivers. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have been the outspoken figures in this matter and Chase Elliott has joined the list too by claiming that the Next Gen Series has taken things “backwards”.
As for Hamlin, he called out NASCAR’s “bad leadership” and Harvick complained that drivers’ input is not taken seriously regarding the matter.
However, Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president of officiating and technical inspection has different opinions. He said that NASCAR has ongoing communication with the drivers and plans to do more in the future.
“There’s ongoing dialogue with the drivers, and there will be this week, as I said earlier, just to get them fully up to speed on where we’re at, what we’re doing, how we’re going to progress, how we’re going to get better and continue to build on this Next Gen car that’s had a phenomenal roll out,” said Sawyer.
“Now that hasn’t been without some challenges, which in any new project you’re going to have. Just feel like there are some things that we’re working on behind the scenes now. We’ll get them up to speed on those projects this week.”
He also said that NASCAR will be conducting some actual crash testing on Wednesday at a facility in Ohio. While there has been a lot of fuss regarding the safety issues with drivers taking to social media to let out their opinions, Sawyer revealed that the communication between drivers and NASCAR officials has been ongoing privately.