NASCAR drivers have formed a new council with 8 members
Years ago, Denny Hamlin had a meeting with NASCAR. He told them about his plans to form a drivers’ council. Days later, the sport themselves formed an official council for the drivers.
Since, that council has disappeared. Now, the drivers have once again taken it into their own hands.
Per the release, The council “is committed to further improving the areas of safety in motorsports, growing and enhancing the sport, and maximizing the opportunities for drivers to achieve success both on and off the track.”
The council features members of current drivers as well as previous stars of the sport. Seven drivers will serve as Board of Directors for the newly formed group: Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Corey LaJoie, Joey Logano, Kyle Petty, and Daniel Suarez.
Hamlin’s name has always been attached to drivers’ councils of the past. It’s no surprise he leads in this effort as well.
“As a current driver and also a team owner, I now see things from a different perspective and that has made me appreciate the importance of collaboration across the industry,” said Denny Hamlin, current NASCAR Cup Series competitor and team owner. “The new council will deliver a unified, collective voice from the drivers to help address any challenges we face and help accomplish the common goals the industry shares.”
Denny Hamlin is both a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing and an owner of 23XI Racing. He’s a member of the Race Team Alliance (Owner’s Council) as well as the newly formed drivers’ council.
Hamlin explained via twitter, “The drivers and the teams align 95% of the time. When that 5% is in play I will step aside on those issues. One thing is for sure. ALL parties have 1 common goal and that is to GROW the sport.”
Jeff Burton, once known as the Mayor of NASCAR will serve as the Director of the Council.
“I’ve been fortunate to have many roles within the sport and I’m excited to add this venture into the fold,” Burton stated.
He added, “I’m humbled and honored that the drivers have asked me to help with this effort. I believe we have a great sport, and this council has the opportunity to work together with the entire industry to make it even better. Personally, I will also continue my work with NBC and provide fresh insight to our viewers at home. This new role with the council will only elevate the broadcasts.”
Kurt Busch currently drivers for 23XI Racing, a team owned by Denny Hamlin.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to collaborate with my fellow drivers on the Drivers Advisory Council. The collective experience and insight represented on this council is ideally suited to carry NASCAR into the future and ensure its long-term sustainability,” Kurt Busch commented.
Busch added, “Through the council, I look forward to collaborating with NASCAR and the team owners to continue fostering positive change in the sport that has meant so much to me over the past two decades.”
Austin Dillon currently drivers for Richard Childress Racing.
“I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with the drivers, NASCAR and other stakeholders to put the best product on the track each week, emphasizing the future of the sport and the safety of drivers,” Austin Dillon stated.
Dillon added, “My family has been involved in NASCAR my entire life, so, personally, it means a lot to me to be able to help leave my mark and progress the sport that I know and love by serving on the Drivers Advisory Council.”
Corey LaJoie races full time for Spire Motorsports.
“The Drivers Advisory Council will be a united and streamlined channel of communication, with Jeff Burton as our fearless leader, that will benefit the fans, sponsors, media and ultimately the sport. It’s a privilege to have your voice heard alongside your peers to further progress the sport in every aspect,” Corey LaJoie commented.
Joey Logano, now a veteran of the sport, drives for Team Penske.
“I’m thrilled to see the progress in our sport lately and feel that the Drivers Advisory Council will help progress our sport even further,” Joey Logano commented.
“The board is made up with experienced, forward-thinking drivers with a great leader in Jeff Burton. Communication from drivers to other stakeholders in our industry has been a challenge for years. This will most definitely help clarify feedback from drivers and help move our sport forward with a unique perspective from behind the wheel.”
Logano added, “We have had a welcoming experience from stakeholders, and I know we can all pull the rope in the same direction. Safety, fan experience, and a great on track product, are just some of the goals.”
Kyle Petty is a member of the NBC broadcast team and is also a former driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“I believe the formation of the Drivers Advisory Council is the start of a new era in NASCAR. Through the leadership of Jeff Burton and the Board of Directors, the drivers now have a united voice. A voice that can effect change and improvement in almost every aspect of our sport. The DAC has the opportunity to create a legacy for generations of drivers to come,” Kyle Petty said.
Daniel Suarez drives for Trackhouse Racing, one of NASCAR’s newest teams.
“First of all, I am thrilled to be a part of this great sport. Since I started my career in NASCAR, after arriving from my home country of Mexico, I have seen a great deal of positive changes,” Daniel Suarez stated.
“I believe the creation of the Drivers Advisory Council will add a first-hand perspective and, in my opinion, help create more positive changes and increase the speed that diversity can have in the sport. This will benefit present and future sponsors, our current and future fan base, as well as the teams and viewership in general.”
Suarez added, “I say this with great sincerity and commitment to support this sport, the fans and the sponsors we represent.”
Race Team Alliance comments
The RTA was formed as a similar council, but for the NASCAR team owners.
“One of the keys to our sport being successful is collaboration among all of its stakeholders. Having a formalized group through which the drivers can better communicate will be a great asset for all of us. They picked the perfect guy to lead the Drivers Advisory Council in Jeff Burton and have assembled a solid Board of Directors to get the group started with a strong, unified voice,” said Dave Alpern, President of Joe Gibbs Racing and Co-Chair of the Team Owner Council.
“Collaboration is critical to our growth, and we welcome any opportunity to strengthen communication with our drivers,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer.
O’Donnell added, “We often look to drivers for input when making decisions that affect the sport, and the Drivers Advisory Council will help streamline that communication. Working together, we will continue to deliver the great NASCAR racing experience our fans expect and deserve.”