NASCAR holds second drivers' council meeting at Daytona

Competitors join with NASCAR to focus on improving the sport.

NASCAR holds second drivers' council meeting at Daytona
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

NASCAR held its second drivers’ council meeting in the 500 Club at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will start first in the Coke Zero 400, called the meeting “real productive”. Earnhardt said a variety of topics were discussed including the aerodynamic changes NASCAR had planned for the cars as well as the tires that will be used going forward. 

“We talked a little bit about this low downforce package and what they want to do at some other race tracks as well,” Earnhardt said. “We just kind of get in there and get the information they’re getting from Goodyear, the meeting with the owners, the drivers. They’re busy folks and they have a lot going on.”

The right stuff

In addition to the lower downforce package that NASCAR is scheduled to run at Kentucky Speedway next weekend, Jeff Gordon confirmed that a high downforce package is in the works for Indianapolis and the second Michigan race in August.

While Gordon’s choice of last year’s tire was out-voted by his peers at the Indy test on April 29, the 2014 Brickyard 400 winner anticipates the new Indy tire will have more grip along with a “lot tighter feel to the car” which will make the cars more difficult to turn.

“So, am really anxious to see what is going to happen balance-wise with that package there,” Gordon said. “But, I think it is obvious to all of us that is one of the hardest places we have to pass. If they can create a way to get more passing...we don't know if this package...it is all in theory right now. It's all computer simulation and wind tunnel. 

“That is why the drivers are in there adding what we do and feel and go through during a race behind other cars.  I think we are all in favor of trying a low downforce package and we want to try the opposite of that, I think Indy and Michigan are good tracks to try that out. We will just have to see what happens."

Gordon's goal? Having the ability to run wide open behind his competition without losing so much downforce that the mechanical grip disappears.

If we can get the speeds right, then what it is going to do is create a really massive hole in the air for you to draft up to down the straightaway.

Jeff Gordon

“If we can get the speeds right, then what it is going to do is create a really massive hole in the air for you to draft up to down the straightaway," Gordon said. "Those are long straightaways at both of those tracks.  The question is still what is going to happen when you are behind another car through a corner.”

A team effort

Gordon believes it’s up to the drivers to contribute to the sport. The four-time Sprint Cup champion feels the best way to give back is for the competitors to offer their expertise to the process to make it “the best it can be”. 

“I must say, in all the years I’ve been in the sport, these two meetings that we’ve had have been some of the highlights of my career,” Gordon said. “I think it’s huge. To open the lines of communication in a sense where, you have every manufacturer represented. You have a lot of different teams represented. And basically, when you get in that room, you realize that everybody goal is to just try to do whatever we can to continue to make this sport as great as it has been and possibly even better; and the racing the best we can possibly get; and whether it’s maintaining something that we currently have or improving on something that we currently have. 

“Yeah, maybe one person might have in the back of their mind that oh, that’s going to affect our ability to compete at the level we’re competing now. Doesn’t matter. There’s too many other people that are weighing-in on that that would outweigh your reason. But everybody get’s to throw ideas out and it’s phenomenal. It’s phenomenal to be able to throw those ideas out and feel like you’re being heard. Discuss it as a group and knock holes in it.

"And that’s from NASCAR’s side as well as the drivers’ side. I only want to see that grow and continue. That incorporates the crew chiefs, engineers, Goodyear, everybody that’s really contributing to the product we have out there on the track.”

shares
comments
Coke Zero 400 qualifying rained out
Previous article

Coke Zero 400 qualifying rained out

Next article

Luck runs out for the Wood Brothers at Daytona

Luck runs out for the Wood Brothers at Daytona
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021