FORT WORTH – A year ago at Texas Motor Speedway, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton stated he believed all three of NASCAR’s national touring series should have a Drivers’ Council.
Crafton’s statement came a month after the Sprint Cup Series’ first council formed.
“(NASCAR’s) constantly making rule changes and trying to make the sport better and sometimes we as drivers feel things whenever they make a rule change, and I think they need to hear it sometimes,” said Crafton at the time. “Not in a bad way or good way, but we need to be able to talk to them for sure.”
Crafton, in his 16th full-time season in the Truck series, now says he hasn’t heard any rumblings about the formation of similar Drivers Councils for the lower-tier series.
“I haven’t had any talks about it,” Crafton told NBC Sports in his team’s hauler Thursday. “I wish they would; they would talk to us. There’s not a whole lot of drivers in this series that they’re probably going to listen to, because they haven’t been here long enough to listen to them.”
The Sprint Cup Drivers Council currently is comprised of nine drivers, including five past champions and defending series champion Kyle Busch. In the Truck series, Crafton is the only champion from the last 10 seasons actively driving in the series. Last year’s champion, Erik Jones, is driving full time in the Xfinity Series.
Crafton said a hypothetical Drivers Council for the truck series would be comprised of series veterans.
“I know there is probably a handful of them they probably should listen to and be able to speak their minds and talk to them about things,” Crafton said. “I’m not saying the rookies shouldn’t have a voice, but at the end of the day, they need to earn the respect to have it.”
Veterans of Crafton’s caliber are sparse among the 20 drivers who have run all six races in 2016. Of those 20, Crafton is one of five drivers who have competed in every race over the past two seasons (22 races in 2014, 23 races in 2015). That includes, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy and Tyler Young.
John Wes Townley, who won his first Truck race last year, has missed only four races since 2012. Drivers such as John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer, both multiple race winners, likely would have attempted full-time seasons if not for NASCAR’s age limits for tracks larger than 1.25-miles.
If he officially were able to convene with his fellow veterans and a couple of younger drivers with NASCAR, Crafton knows at least one topic he’d like to discuss.
“Differences in how (the trucks) drove in traffic five years ago and how they drive in traffic now,” Crafton said “I’d like to talk about some of that stuff with them and see if we can make the racing even better than what it is already.”