Denny Hamlin, who originally spawned the drivers’ council, comments on the status of the group today
Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr walked into the office of Brian France with the idea of a drivers’ council. They were looking to give drivers a voice in the direction of the sport
The next day, NASCAR announced their own council. Instead of giving full control to the drivers on the formation, NASCAR stepped in and took partial control of the idea.
Each year, the members of the council would rotate. But, not for 2019.
The status of the NASCAR drivers’ council is unknown to the drivers. In other words, it no longer exists.
Denny Hamlin comments on the NASCAR drivers council
“I think there’s value to it. Certainly there’s value. Driver feedback is crucial to putting on good racing in my opinion,” Denny Hamlin stated of a NASCAR drivers council.
“I do think with the changing of the guard, as far as management with Jim France — You’re likely to see him listen to the drivers more so than what has been in the past.”
Last year, Brian France was arrested for a DUI. The former NASCAR CEO has since stepped down from the position. That has placed his uncle, Jim France into the position.
Brian France rarely visited the tracks on race weekends. Alternatively, Jim France is at all the races.
Jim is there with a notebook, taking notes. It’s speculation but it appears France has included all the drivers into a council in his mind as he gets a feel of the pulse in the garage area.
“Even though, you’d go to the meetings and you’d go over the agenda sometimes it kinda fell on deaf ears like, ‘Are they really go to make that change? Or is their mind already made up on it?’ “
“Certainty we’ve seen and the owners have seen that changes are coming. Changes have been made over the last year or so, quicker than what has in the past.”
“If there’s any time for a drivers council, now would be the right time. Because you have the right people that are their to listen.”
Status of the 2019 drivers council?
“They haven’t announced anything as far as I know of for this year,” Hamlin continued.
“I’m indifferent on it to be honest with you. I think there’s a good group of guys that are always going to have the general interest of drivers in mind.”
“If I’m on it, that’s fine. But, if I’m not, that’s ok too. I’ll always communicate with those drivers that are on it, if I’m not.”