Drivers meet with NASCAR in Dover to discuss issues facing sport
Jimmie Johnson was not invited to a meeting between a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and NASCAR officials Saturday in a casino adjacent to Dover International Speedway.
And after winning for the record 10th time at the Monster Mile, Johnson bristled a little at the exclusion.
"I missed that memo. I wasn't there," Johnson said. "I was on a bicycle ride. I rode 52 miles yesterday. Hopefully I'm not going to get in trouble for missing a meeting that was taking place. It must have been -- gosh, now it's kind of -- I don't think I was invited to that meeting. I haven't won enough races or championships."
Drivers who were in attendance included Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr., among others. Sources said that topics discussed included the progress made by tracks at improving safety.
"The meeting was good," said Hamlin. "We talked about a lot of things that hopefully is going to make our sport better, our cars better, make a better show for the fans. I think all that being said ... it's a process, it'll take some time and hopefully we get this deal better."
"It was a good, positive meeting," said Harvick.
Afterwards, NASCAR downplayed the significance of the meeting.
"NASCAR meets with drivers frequently on a wide range of topics," said Brett Jewkes, senior vice president and chief communications officer in a statement issued by the sanctioning body. "As part of our ongoing commitment to foster dialogue between all stakeholders, we've met formally with drivers on several occasions this season, including here at Dover. We'll meet with them again later in the season as normal course of business. The meetings have been productive and we find the dialogue very valuable."