Friday 5: NASCAR Chief Says ‘We Care’ about Driver Safety

NASCAR President Steve Phelps says he will tell drivers this weekend that we “care about” them and their safety.

Phelps and other officials are scheduled to meet with drivers on Saturday morning to discuss safety measures with the next-generation car.

Three drivers will miss Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Roval Stadium due to injuries caused by the crash.

It is believed to be the first time in more than 20 years that three full-time drivers have been seated in the same race due to injuries sustained in road accidents.

Kurt Bosch He will miss the 12th race in a row on Sunday. He has been kept away by concussion-like symptoms since his crash on July 23 in qualifying at the Pocono race track. He recently said he was “optimistic” of returning but did not have a timeline. Five races remain in the season.

Alex Bowman He will miss his second race in a row due to persistent concussion symptoms after the September 25 crash at Texas Motor Speedway.

kodi ware Sitting outside the Sunday race while Recovering from an impaction fracture to his right ankle in a crash on September 25 in Texas. Ware stated this week on social media that given “the extensive work required for the Road Track event, I don’t feel like I can put in a 100% effort for my team, my sponsors or for Ford.” He plans to get back in the car the following week in Las Vegas.

Drivers say the effects they feel this year are even more difficult with the next-generation car. Bush and Bowman were injured in rear-end collisions.

The vehicle has been reinforced to help protect drivers in severe crashes such as Ryan NewmanDaytona 500 crash 2020 and Joey LoganoTalladega accident 2021. To make the car safer for these types of collisions, it has made impacts more difficult in the most common accidents.

Kevin Harvick And the Denny Hamlin She was the most vocal among drivers about NASCAR’s safety efforts.

Hamlin questioned NASCAR leadership and demanded a redesign of the car Last weekend in Talladega. Phelps met Hamlin the next day.

“Diny and I have a good relationship,” Phelps told NBC Sports and The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We do. He says things I don’t agree with sometimes. I’m sure there are things I say he disagrees with.

“Maybe I would have taken a different approach, and he kind of knows what’s going on in the process. I’m definitely glad we had a discussion. I gave him my opinion. He gave me his. I thought there was a healthy discussion.”

More drivers began raising concerns last week about safety concerns in the car, Including Chase Elliott.

“We need to make sure that we do everything we can to make our drivers feel safe in the vehicles and make them understand that we definitely care about their safety because we do,” Phelps said.

“We’re working on things with our people internally, our race teams and (manufacturers) and drivers to make sure we have a plan going until – I don’t know it’s gaining confidence – but better.

“Our goal is to be the safest motorsport on the planet…that’s what we aspire to achieve.”

NASCAR conducted crash testing of a rear sectional and rear shock absorber structure at its Ohio facility this week. Chain officials are also checking items with headrest foam and working with Wake Forest University to test mouthpiece sensors that track a driver’s head movements in the event of an accident.

Jeff Burton, director of the Drivers Advisory Council and an analyst at NBC Sports, says he has been in regular contact with NASCAR on behalf of the drivers.

“We feel we have a collaboration with NASCAR,” Burton said last week in Talladega regarding safety issues. “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.”

As for his message to drivers at Saturday’s meeting, Phelps said he would tell them, “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that when you’re wearing that car, you feel safe.”

2. “A silly statement”

NASCAR Chief of Staff Rodney Childers suspended four races and Kevin Harvick penalized 100 points for making adjustments to the deck cover this week.

The penalties were discovered at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Chain officials usually take two cars from most events to the R&D center. There can be full inspections of more than one track.

NASCAR took Harvick’s cars and Martin Truex Jr. After racing last weekend in Talladega. The Truex car had no problems.

There are some who would suggest that NASCAR was referring to Harvick for recent critical comments on NASCAR’s safety efforts.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps’ response to this idea?

“I would say it’s ridiculous,” he said. “No one ever has a vendetta against Kevin Harvick or Rodney Childers. Or the Stuart Haas race. That is a ridiculous statement.”

Regarding the inspection process, Phelps said, “(Officials) will look at it, look at it again, look at it a third time to make sure that if there is a penalty, then that penalty is right. If Team 4 thinks it’s not right, they’ll file An appeal and we will go through the appeal process.”

Stewart-Haas Racing did not file an appeal until Friday morning.

3. Report Card

During a panel discussion in Women in motorsport Symposium this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports has presented a report card on race and gender for NASCAR, its teams, and the industry for the first time.

The NBAAnd the NFLAnd the WNBAAnd the Major League Baseball And the football League They also have reports on their leagues and the results are made public.

The report looks at the race and gender of athletes and front office employees in those sports. Some reports address the race and gender of officials and even broadcasters.

Phelps said he will not release NASCAR results.

“We’re doing some great work,” Phelps said during the panel discussion.

Phelps noted that the grades “are not going to be what they should be, but you have to face them. … We will do better. One thing I will say is that the programs that we have put in place over the past few years have an A grade.”

Asked by NBC Sports about the report, Phelps said, “He validated where I thought we were, which is why I want to keep it quiet. We’re actually doing a really good job. … hiring people of color, hiring women, promoting people of color, and promotion of women.

“I don’t want to lose that momentum to where our Industrial Diversity Council is like, ‘Wait, wait, I said you do all these things but it doesn’t work. “

“It will take time. It is not surprising with your fingers (and everything is over). Proud of the programs we offer.”

Thursday, NASCAR announced that 13 drivers have been invited to the Drive for Diversity group. The program was created in 2004 to develop and train ethnically diverse and female drivers on and off the track.

4. Change the strategy

Appeal Committee Elimination of the 25-point penalty for William Byron It takes him back to a relocation spot heading into Sunday’s Elimination Race at Charlotte Roval (2pm ET on NBC).

Chase Brisco Drops from the final transfer point and equals Austin Cendrick12 points behind the cutoff line. Daniel Suarez Holds the final transfer place.

Cendric said Thursday – before Byron’s penalty was amended – that what happened to Byron would affect how he races.

“It totally changes what our race looks like this weekend, what our race strategy looks like, what our priorities are,” Cendrick said if Byron gets his points back.

“Even if (the points) are returned, we’re still in a reasonably good place to believe we can still get our way. It’s not a must for us either way, but I think it definitely changes our racing strategy.”

Cendric explained how strategy could change as Byron returns to a transition point.

“Maybe you have to risk more to get points…or risk more to keep winning the race,” he said.

5. Resume body changes

William ByronThe death penalty was the fourth time this year that the National Motorsports Appeals Committee or a Final Appeals Officer has amended or overturned a sentence by NASCAR.

in january, Final Appeals Officer overturned a $50,000 fine and six-week suspension Ryan Bell, Chief Crew for Mike Harmon a race. The team and Bill were penalized when Harmon used one of his team’s Xfinity cars at a charity event at Rockingham Speedway.

Roger Werner, National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, wrote in his decision that “the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Committee, upholding NASCAR’s original sanction, was incorrect in light of the NASCAR rulebook amendment made on January 24, 2022.”

In May , The National Motorsports Appeals Committee has disqualified Matt Crafton After finishing fifth in the Camping World Truck Series race in Darlington.

The Crafton truck was disqualified after NASCAR deemed the car was too low in the front. The commission determined that “the appellants did not violate the rule(s) set forth in the penalty notice.”

Fifth place was restored to Crafton. No other reason was given by the commission. The panel consisted of Dixon Johnston, Tom DeLoach, and Hunter Nickel.

In September, NASCAR punished Jeremy Clements For violating the intake manifold after winning at Daytona. NASCAR’s penalty did not allow a win to count on playoff eligibility.

Clements and his team took the engine to the NASCAR Research and Development Center to be inspected, but left the intake manifold running, which was not required to be part of the inspection.

Clements and his team noted before the commission that they should not be penalized for a part that was not checked in the other engines. The committee agreed and canceled the sentence, which allows winning depending on the qualification of the qualifiers. The committee consisted of Richard Gore, DeLoach, and Johnston.

Then came Thursday’s decision by The National Motors Committee is appealing to cancel the 25-point penalty Byron Spinning Denny Hamlin in Texas.

The commission did not say why the points penalty was abolished but raised Byron’s fine from $50,000 to $100,000. The painting consisted of Del Benellis, Kevin Whitaker and Nickel.

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