Friday 5: For 2 NASCAR drivers from Ukraine, war causes pain, grief

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Igor Romanov apologizes, although he doesn’t need to do so. One of two drivers from Ukraine in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Romanov speaks English well, but there are times when he pauses, waves his arms, and searches for the right word as he discusses the impact of war in his country. 

“It’s really hard when you are emotional, you forget some words,” he told NBC Sports.

Romanov lived in Kyiv, Ukraine until Russian missiles rained on his city and troops advanced. The explosions were distant, yet the shock waves rattled his windows. 

“We need to go,” Romanov told his wife. 

He, his wife, 10-year-old son and the family cat fled the city shortly after the attack started in February. They traveled nearly 350 miles to Lviv in western Ukraine.

Romanov sees videos and pictures of the devastation in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Buildings he is familiar with are destroyed or damaged. The shopping mall destroyed by a missile — the impact caught on a security camera — he knows well. He was there a couple of weeks before the war began when he had a meeting about having a new TV studio there.  

In his role as a director of photography at a Ukrainian TV station, he sees his hometown’s devastation daily. Even so, the notion is hard to fathom.

“I remember in my head, all these places are still like they were before the war,” he said via Zoom. “I see the photos (of the damage). I post them on Facebook because I want the world community to see this crazy destruction.”

The images are painful to view.  

“It’s really hard to see that,” Romanov said. “I understand how many lives were destroyed, how many dreams were destroyed. It’s probably the hardest thing. I see how many children have died. It’s not a problem to build a new building or something like that (but) we will (not have those lives) back.”

A friend of his, who was a cameraman, was killed in Mariupol, the besieged port city that has been a focal point in the war and faces a devastating humanitarian crisis. 

As Romanov discusses the war, he talks about dreams lost. That’s personal to him. While he’d always been a motorsports fan — he served as an announcer for NASCAR races on Ukraine TV until the war started — he dreamed of competing.

Igor Romanov has run select races in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series the past two seasons. (Photo courtesy of Igor Romanov)

Romanov became a fan of IndyCar racing in the late 1990s. He bought a satellite system and soon saw NASCAR races.

“When I was watching the Daytona 500 for the first time in 2000, I said, ‘Wow, it is absolutely fantastic!’ I became a real big fan of NASCAR,” he said.

Bobby Labonte became Romanov’s favorite driver. When Labonte competed in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2017-18, Romanov met him and told him of his desire to race. Labonte encouraged him to pursue his dream.

Romanov went to a racing school when he was 40 years old. He made his EuroNASCAR2 debut in 2020 at age 44. Romanov made his EuroNASCAR Pro debut in 2021. He is unsure of his racing plans this season, but NASCAR has provided some comfort in the way teams and drivers have supported various causes for Ukraine.

“We are really grateful to the United States of America,” Romanov told NBC Sports. “Really grateful for the NASCAR community, for Richard Childress, Roger Penske, Stefan Parsons, Hailie Deegan … Team Hendrick. It’s really important for us. We are proud to be Ukrainian. I want one day to come on one of the (NASCAR) circuits with the Ukrainian flag.”

Childress spurred a move to donate ammunition to Ukraine soldiers. Team Penske cars have decals of Ukraine flags, and the Penske Corporation made a $1 million donation to the World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in response to humanitarian crises. 

Parsons’ BJ McLeod Motorsports Xfinity car ran “Ukraine Strong” on the hood at Las Vegas. Deegan’s Truck for David Gilliland Racing had the Ukraine flag on the bed of the vehicle at Atlanta. Team owner Rick Hendrick and the Hendrick Automotive Group committed $200,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to support disaster assistance and pledged $2,000 toward Ukraine relief for every lap a Hendrick Motorsports car led at Las Vegas. 

The donations are meaningful, just as are images of the Ukraine flag.

Yevgen Sokolovskiy

Yevgen Sokolovskiy, who is from Odessa, Ukraine, also races in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and is never far from his country’s flag. Sokolovskiy, a fan of Jimmie Johnson because they both drove the No. 48 in stock cars, wears a blue-and-gold wristband that represents his country’s flag with his watch.

He’s also had Ukraine’s flag on his car.

“Last two years I have questions from people, ‘Why do you drive with the Ukraine flag? You’ve lived in Germany for 20 years,’” Sokolovskiy told NBC Sports via Zoom. “I am a citizen of Ukraine. I have a Ukraine passport. … I am proud of my country.”

While Odessa, Ukraine is not on the frontlines, the war has impacted Sokolovskiy’s family. His mother and sister were in Odessa when the war began. 

That first day produced a flurry of calls and messages from friends and family throughout the country. He told his mother to take his sister and leave. They did and are safe. 

“We wait,” Sokolovskiy said. “We’re looking every day at the news. We’re waiting for positive news.”

He also struggles with seeing the destruction in his country.

“It’s not easy to see because it’s a very, very beautiful city, Kyiv,’ he said. “Very, very beautiful city Kharkiv. Odessa the same.”

The war has changed how Romanov views life. He used to look ahead to summer vacations, NASCAR Euro Whelen Series races, his next broadcast and a possible trip to the U.S. to visit NASCAR shrines, including Daytona Beach’s Streamline Hotel, the birthplace of NASCAR.

But now?

“I’m thinking only about tomorrow because I don’t know how the situation will change in the next couple of hours,” he said. “I don’t know. I’m worried about the lost dream. It’s really important. When you have a dream, you have the possibility to move, to do something not only for you personally but for all people around you. 

“First thing I realized when I come with my family to a more safe place than Kyiv … I’m worried they lost this dream. The night before, I’m thinking about my future, the future of my family. … After (Feb. 24) I didn’t understand the future. I didn’t understand if we will wake up tomorrow or not.

“Now, I believe we’ll get our dreams in our hearts. I think it’s really important for every people on our planet. … After my broadcasts of NASCAR Cup races on Ukrainian TV, I told my audience, ‘You may believe in your dream. Your dream knows the way. If you believe in your dream, you will find the right way.’ 

“Now, I think every one of us need to believe in our dream.”

Igor Romanov broadcasting the Clash at the Coliseum in early February on Ukraine TV. His last broadcast was the Daytona 500 before the war began and halted such programming. (Photo: Igor Romanov)

2. Cup future?

Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, says “the window is not closed” for a potential shift to Cup, but she told NBC Sports’ Zach Sturniolo this week that the timing would need to be right.

JR Motorsports has looked at a Cup operation but there have been several challenges. Those have ranged from acquiring a charter to if the team would need another partner since co-owner Rick Hendrick would have to divest from the team because no person can have ownership in more than one Cup team.

Several teams have entered Cup recently because of the potential long-term savings with the Next Gen car. Live Fast Motorsports, 23XI Racing, Trackhouse Racing, Petty GMS Motorsports and Kaulig Racing all have joined Cup as full-time teams since 2021. 

“To me, it’s all about timing,” Earnhardt Miller said. “What’s going to make sense, right? So, we were thinking through it last year, in terms of the new car. Obviously, that kind of propelled our thought process on … that barrier of entry and … what we thought would be more competitive.”

She said team officials had conversations about charters, but things didn’t fall into place to do a deal.

“I’m really all about timing,” Earnhardt Miller said. “I don’t like to rush things. If I absolutely feel 100 percent good about it, I’m ready to pull the trigger. But if I have reservations, I’m ready to do my due diligence.”

She and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have relied on Hendrick for help as they pondered a Cup operation.

“He was our first call because there’s not much that he’s put his finger on that hasn’t went well,” Earnhardt Miller said. “How do we do this? Can we do this? What do you think about us doing this? And they’ve been right alongside of us to try to answer questions and help us navigate what it could look like.”

If JR Motorsports had a Cup team, what would the ownership structure look like with Hendrick having to divest?

“In a perfect world, I don’t want partners,” Earnhardt Miller told NBC Sports. “I like doing things. I think we’re capable of doing things, where we have a great group here and management here and would have to fill out our team.”

She also acknowledges that a new partner could benefit a move to Cup.

“We have a good track record, we’ve got a great brand in JR Motorsports, we’ve got a great personality with Dale Jr.,” Earnhardt Miller said. “He really wants to participate and be in the Cup Series. So, you know, in the perfect world, we would either be majority (owner) or not have a partner but, you know, the world’s not perfect.”

3. Greater parity

An average of seven different teams are recording top-10 finishes per race through the first six events of the season. Last year, an average of 6.1 different teams scored top-10 finishes per race through the first six events.

During Wednesday’s MotorMouths (6-7 p.m. ET Mondays and Wednesdays on Peacock), the panel was asked who they were worried about. NASCAR on NBC analyst Kyle Petty, noting the balance in the sport, took a different approach.

“I’m worried about the establishment and what I mean by that is Hendrick, Penske and Gibbs,” Petty said. “The guys that run up front week in and week out. Eight cars in the top 10 with two organizations. … These guys are showing up individually, Kyle Busch might show up. Joey Logano might show up. If we look at it, this past weekend at COTA, six different organizations in the top 10.

“We’ve had races where nine different organizations were in the top 10. Where is the establishment? Where is that cornerstone that what we felt was the solid part of the sport, the sharp end of the stick, those guys dominating week in and week out. They haven’t shown up.

“I’m not saying they won’t show up. I am concerned … I am concerned because they haven’t shown up. … They had all the opportunities to show up before JTG showed up, before Petty GMS showed up, before Trackhouse showed up. They had every opportunity to be the first guys out of the gate and they’re not.”

No organization has had a car place in the top 10 in all six races this year. Last year, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing each had at least one car place in the top 10 in each of the first six races.

In three races a year ago, Hendrick and JGR cars combined for 60% of the top 10. That’s happened only once this year (both teams combined for 70% of the top 10 at Las Vegas).

4. Return to Victory Lane

While this season has been celebrated for having three first-time winners in the the first six points races, it also means that a number of former champions have yet to reach Victory Lane this season. 

Reigning Cup champ Kyle Larson is the only former champion to win a points race in the series this year (Joey Logano won the Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race).

Here is a look at the winless streaks for former Cup champions entering Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox):

49 races – Kevin Harvick

35 races – Joey Logano

32 races – Brad Keselowski

23 races – Kyle Busch

22 races – Chase Elliott

21 races – Kurt Busch

14 races – Martin Truex Jr.

4 races – Kyle Larson 

 5. Young talent 

Three drivers are scheduled to make their Xfinity debut Saturday at Richmond. That equals the number of drivers who have made their series debut in the first five races of the season.

Making their debut Saturday are: Derek Griffith, Rajah Caruth and Howie DiSavino III.

Griffith, 25, is the 2018 Pro All Stars champion. DiSavino, 21, grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia, which is a short drive to Richmond Raceway. Caruth, 19, started racing less than three years ago. 

Griffith will drive the No. 26 for Sam Hunt Racing. Caruth will drive the No. 44 for Alpha Prime Racing. DiSavino will be in the No. 45 for Alpha Prime Racing. 

Parker Chase has the best finish this season for a driver making their series debut. He placed 19th last weekend at Circuit of the Americas. Nick Sanchez was 26th at Phoenix. Parker Retzlaff was 36th at Phoenix after qualifying sixth. 

 

Dr. Diandra: Is Talladega really the biggest, fastest, fiercest track?

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Talladega Superspeedway has a reputation as one of the wildest tracks on the NASCAR circuit.

Is it hype? Or do the numbers prove the point?

The biggest

Talladega is the longest oval track in the NASCAR circuit. At 2.66 miles (14,045 feet), one Talladega lap is the length of about 468 football fields. Talladega is longer than Mauna Kea is tall.

If we measure lengths in terms of Talladega:

  • The distance from Charlotte to Nashville (the location of the NASCAR awards ceremony) is 339 Talladegas.
  • If you flew direct from Los Angeles to New York City, you would cover 2500 Talladegas.
  • Martinsville is just 0.20 Talladegas.

Talladega also holds the record for banking in current Cup Series tracks with 33 degrees. Talladega’s banking is so high that the outside lane of the 48-foot wide racing surface is 26.1 feet higher than the inside lane. That difference is about the height of a two-story house.

Talladega is a tri-oval. Think of it as three straight lines connected by three curves.

A graphic showing the tri-oval shape and how it got its name

 

While tri-oval describes the track shape, it is also used to refer to the frontstretch — the most triangular part of the track.

And Talladega’s frontstretch is formidable. The 4,300-foot segment is banked at 16.5 degrees. Talladega’s frontstretch has more banking than all three of Pocono’s turns.

The backstretch, known as the Alabama Gang Superstretch, isn’t too shabby, either. It’s 1,000 feet longer than Daytona’s backstretch. If you were to unroll Richmond, its entire 0.75-mile length would just cover Talladega’s backstretch.

Talladega’s infield is so large that it could hold the L.A. Coliseum, Martinsville, Bristol, Dover, Richmond and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

A graphic showing that it's possible to pack five smaller tracks, plus the NASCAR Hall of Fame into Talladega's infield

The Fastest

Bill France Sr. originally envisioned Talladega as Indianapolis Motor Speedway with higher banking. At a time when raw speed was the big attraction, higher banking would allow Talladega to wrest away the closed-track speed record from Indy.

In 1970, just six months after Talladega hosted its first race, Buddy Baker became the first driver to break the 200 mph mark on a closed course.

Baker’s breakthrough happened at a testing session. It wasn’t until 1982 that Benny Parsons became the first Cup Series driver to qualify over 200 mph. Just four years later, all but one of the 42 drivers starting the spring race qualified over 200 mph.

In May 1987, Bill Elliott set the all-time Cup Series qualifying record at 212.809 mph. That record will likely never be broken. During the race, Bobby Allison got airborne and crashed into the catchfence. NASCAR subsequently mandated restrictor plates (and now tapered spacers) to keep speeds down and cars on the ground.

Restricting airflow to the engine makes drafting even more important. That, in turn, leads to large packs of cars racing within inches of each other. That’s why four of the top-10 closest finishes in the Cup Series happened at Talladega.

In the spring 2011 race, Jimmie Johnson beat Clint Bowyer by just two-thousandths (0.002) of a second. That ties the famous 2003 Ricky Craven/Kurt Busch Darlington finish for the smallest margin of victory in Cup Series history.

Of all Talladega races run after NASCAR introduced electronic scoring in May 1993, 44 ended under a green flag. Of those races:

  • Seven (15.9%) were won by less than 25 thousandths of a second.
  • Fifteen (34.1%) were won by less than one-tenth of a second.
  • Thirty-nine (88.6%) were won by less than two-tenths of a second.
  • The largest margin of victory was 0.388 seconds.

The Fiercest

Pack racing leads to more contact. Out of 35 Talladega races run under the current green-white-checkered rule, 14 (40%) ended under caution. Rain caused one of those yellow/checkered finishes. The rest were due to accidents.

In 64 races since 1990, Talladega has seen 228 caution-causing spins or accidents, which involved 1,120 cars.

Almost half (49.2%) of these incidents involved only one or two cars. A one- or two-car accident is no less problematic for the drivers involved than a larger crash. But the more cars involved in accidents, the more likely a driver is to be knocked out of the race.

  • 3.5% of all accidents since 1990 involved 20 or more cars.
  • 5.7% of accidents collected 15 or more cars.
  • 16.7% were 10-car or larger crashes.
  • 38.2% involved five or more cars.

While probable, the Big One is by no means inevitable.

Neither are accidents in general. Three races since 1990 finished with no cautions, but all three of these races took place before 2003. The lowest number of cautions in a Talladega race since 2003 is three. That happened at the fall races in 2013 and 2015.

The average number of caution-causing accidents and spins in a Talladega race is 3.5.

  • Seven races (10.9%) had a single caution-causing accident or spin.
  • 14 out of 64 races (21.9%) had four caution-causing accidents or spins
  • 13 of 64 races (20.3%) had three caution-causing incidents.

Races with four or fewer accidents make up 71.9% of all Talladega races — which means that races with five or more accidents only account for 28.1%.

The numbers definitely uphold Talladega’s reputation. Although the track itself remains the same, the racing varies. Tune in to NBC (2 p.m. ET) to see whether this fall’s bout is accident-filled or accident-free.

Talladega Xfinity results: AJ Allmendinger edges Sam Mayer

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AJ Allmendinger, who had had several close calls in Xfinity Series superspeedway races, finally broke through to Victory Lane Saturday, edging Sam Mayer to win at Talladega Superspeedway.

Allmendinger’s margin of victory was .015 of a second. Mayer finished second by a few feet.

Following in the top five were Landon Cassill (Allmendinger’s Kaulig Racing teammate and his drafting partner at the end), Ryan Sieg and Josh Berry.

Noah Gragson, who had won four straight Xfinity races entering Saturday, was 10th. Austin Hill dominated the race but finished 14th.

MORE: Talladega Xfinity results

MORE: Talladega Xfinity driver points

AJ Allmendinger wins Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

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Veteran driver AJ Allmendinger slipped past youngster Sam Mayer in the final seconds and won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

As drivers in the lead pack scrambled for position approaching the finish line, Allmendinger moved to the outside and, getting a push from Kaulig Racing teammate Landon Cassill, edged Mayer by a few feet. The win ended frustration for Allmendinger on superspeedways.

Following Allmendinger, 40, at the finish were Mayer (who is 19 years old), Cassill, Ryan Sieg and Josh Berry.

Noah Gragson and Allmendinger have qualified for the next playoff round. The other six drivers above the cutline are Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier, Mayer and Sieg. Below the cutline are Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst and Jeremy Clements.

MORE: Talladega Xfinity results

MORE: Talladega Xfinity driver points

“This is Talladega,” a wildly happy Allmendinger told NBC Sports. “Yes, I hate superspeedway racing, but it’s awesome to win in front of the Talladega crowd.”

Austin Hill dominated the race but dropped out of the lead to 14th place  in the closing five laps as drivers moved up and down the track in search of the best drafting line.

The first half of the race featured two and sometimes three drafting lines with a lot of movement and blocking near the front. In the final stage, the leaders ran lap after lap in single file, with Hill, Allmendinger and Gragson in the top three.

MORE: Safety key topic as drivers meet at Talladega

Hill led 60 laps and won the first two stages but finished 14th.

Gragson was in pursuit of a fifth straight Xfinity Series win. He finished 10th.

Remarkably for a Talladega race, the entire 38-car field finished. The race was the 1,300th in Xfinity history, marking only the third time the entire field had been running at the finish. The other two races were at Michigan in 1998 and Langley Speedway in Virginia in 1988.

Stage 1 winner: Austin Hill

Stage 2 winner: Austin Hill

Who had a good race: AJ Allmendinger got the “can’t win on superspeedways” monkey off his back with a great final lap. … Sam Mayer made all the right moves but was passed in the madness of the final run down the trioval. … Landon Cassill finished a strong third and gave Allmendinger, his teammate, the winning push.

Who had a bad race: The race had to be disappointing for Austin Hill, who ran the show for most of the afternoon, winning two stages and leading 60 laps, more than twice as many as any other driver. While blocking to try to maintain the lead late in the race, he fell to 14th. … Playoff driver Jeremy Clements finished a sour 20th and is 47 points below the cutline.

Next: The Xfinity Series’ next playoff race is scheduled Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. (ET) on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. The race will be broadcast by NBC.

Safety key topic in meeting for drivers at Talladega

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Cup drivers met Friday with Jeff Burton, director of the Drivers Advisory Council, and discussed safety issues ahead of this weekend’s playoff race, which will be without two drivers due to concussion-like symptoms from crashes.

Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch will not race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. 

Busch suffered his head injury in a crash at Pocono in July. Bowman’s injury followed his crash last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Both were injured in accidents where the rear of the car hit the SAFER barrier first.

Two drivers injured in less than three months — and the series racing at a track where crashes are likely — raises tension in the Cup garage. 

Denny Hamlin blasted NASCAR on Saturday, saying it was “bad leadership” for not addressing safety concerns drivers had with the car. Hamlin also said that the Next Gen vehicle needs to be redesigned.

Burton, who also is an analyst for NBC Sports, said in an exclusive interview that Friday’s meeting was lengthy because there were several topics to discuss. Burton didn’t go into details on all the topics.

Safety was a key element of that meeting. Burton, whose role with the Drivers Advisory Council is to coordinate the group and communicate with NASCAR, discussed the cooperation level with NASCAR.

“We feel like we have cooperation with NASCAR,” he said. “We know the commitments from NASCAR. They’ve made real commitments to us. We want to see those commitments through. I believe that we will in regards to changes to the car. 

“We want to see that come to conclusion as soon as possible. They have made commitments to us and are showing us what is happening, communicating with us in regard to timing, and we want to see it come to conclusion, as they do. 

“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get some changes done before last weekend. It just takes a long time to test stuff.”

NASCAR has a crash test scheduled next week on a new rear clip and rear bumper. Even if the test goes well, there’s not enough time for any such changes this season with five races left.

The frustration from drivers — and voiced by Hamlin and Kevin Harvick — has been that NASCAR was informed about issues with a stiffer car for more than a year. Some questions were raised after William Byron crashed in a test in March 2020 at Auto Club Speedway.

“William Byron busted his ass at (Auto Club) Speedway and that should have raised a red flag right off the bat,” Harvick said Saturday.

Hamlin said more drivers needed to speak up about concerns with the car.

“I know a lot of young guys are just happy to be here, but they ain’t going to be happy when their brains are scrambled for the rest of their lives,” Hamlin said.

Byron is looking for changes to be made.

“I want to have a long career, and I don’t want to have a series of concussions that make me either have to step way from the car or have to think about long-term things,” he said.

Chase Elliott also shared his frustrations Saturday.

“You come off a week like we had in Texas and somebody getting injured and then you come into here, where odds are we’re probably all going to hit something at some point (Sunday) and probably not lightly at that,” Elliot said.

So what do drivers do?

“Do you just not show up?” Elliott said. “Do you just not run? I don’t think that’s feasible to ask. There’s always an inherent risk in what we do and it’s always been that way. 

“My frustration is … I just hate that we put ourselves in the box that we’re in right now. It’s just disappointing that we’ve put ourselves here and we had a choice. We did this to ourselves as an industry. 

“That should have just never been the case. We should not have put ourselves in the box that we’re in right now. So my disappointment lies in that that we had years and time and opportunity to make this thing right before we put it on track and we didn’t, and now we’re having to fix it. 

“I just hate that we did that. I think we’re smarter than that. I think there’s just a lot of men and women that work in this garage that know better and we shouldn’t have been here.”

Burton told NBC Sports that drivers did not discuss in Friday’s meeting running single-file in Sunday’s race as a form of protest.

“It wouldn’t be surprising for me to see single-file (racing Sunday) because of what happened at Texas and what could happen next week (at the Charlotte Roval),” Burton said. “Drivers need a period of calmness. 

“There was not a discussion, a collaborated effort or any sort of thing of how you race (Sunday). That conversation did not come up in that meeting.”

Harvick said Saturday that he’ll continue to be vocal about safety issues.

“I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure these guys are in a good spot,” Harvick said. “Whatever I have to do.”

Harvick later said: “I don’t think any of us want to be in this position. We have to have the safety we deserve to go out and put on a great show and be comfortable with that. 

“Obviously, we all have taken the risks of being race car drivers, but there’s no reason we should be in a worse position than we were last year.”

Harvick said it was a matter of trust.

“The reality of the situation is much different than what they’re looking at,” Harvick said of NASCAR officials. “I think that the trust level is obviously not where it needs to be from getting it fixed. I think they’re going to have to earn the trust level back of reacting quick enough to do the things that it takes. The drivers’ opinion, especially when it comes to safety side of things, has to be more important than the data or more important than the cost. Safety can’t be a budget item.”

Corey LaJoie, who is a member of the Drivers Advisory Council board, said that while challenges remain with the car, he sees the effort being made by NASCAR.

“Nothing happens quick in this deal when you have 38 teams and you have seven cars per team,” LaJoie told NBC Sports. “It has to be a well-thought-out process to implement the changes.

“It’s easy to get up in arms and prickly when we have guys like Alex and Kurt out. You don’t ever want that to happen. Every conversation I’m having is what we, as the Driver Council, is trying to communicate to NASCAR and NASCAR making proactive changes and moving timelines up aggressively to try to implement these changes.”