NASCAR Icon Denny Hamlin Wants More Communication Over Safety Issues

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

NASCAR star Denny Hamlin has long called for improved communication between drivers and NASCAR executives. But it doesn’t look like much has changed.

That’s right, Outsiders. You probably already know Hamlin has been known to use social media to bring awareness to issues in the sport before. Well, that’s exactly what he did earlier this week. Hamlin echoed Kevin Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, who has also been known to voice his frustrations online.

Childers took an indirect shot at NASCAR’s poor communication in one of his replies to Fox’s Bob Pockrass. Pockrass sent a tweet showing a new requirement of rain flaps for Cup Series cars on rainy road courses. But it turns out that the league didn’t inform anyone of the change and it was the first Childers had heard of it.

“I’m so glad you send out all of this so we can learn what we are doing…” he said.

Denny Hamlin then replied saying, “So true.”

Denny Hamlin Called Out NASCAR Last Year

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Denny Hamlin has called out NASCAR for poor communication with drivers. As a matter of fact, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver did much of the same just last year when he raised the concern about safety issues regarding the Next Gen car.

“When it comes to the crash stuff, I’ve asked questions to two different NASCAR people, executives. I can’t get a response,” Hamlin said. “That, to me, makes it even scarier. Man, the disconnect right now between all the parties — NASCAR, the tracks, and all the drivers — it’s tough right now. It’s not a good place.”

Hamlin made it clear that drivers need some kind of organization. They have since formed a new Drivers Advisory Council.

“In seven years, I’ll be a team owner only, but these drivers, they need to get organized. Their safety is at risk,” he said. “They need to know what they’re getting strapped into. So they need to get organized, and they need to have a voice. They deserve to have a seat at the table, whatever that table is.”

Kevin Harvick Also Chimed In On NASCAR’s Communication Issue

Meanwhile, if you remember, Kevin Harvick also spoke his mind on the matter. The driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart -Haas Racing thinks drivers need to be included in the process of what’s going on.

“As we sat in the drivers’ meeting that NASCAR had with us (in May) to show us everything, I think that the most frustrating part of the whole process is the fact that the safety piece to the drivers and the conversation with the drivers, which was asked for by the drivers, was had at the very end of everything. And as you look at that, I think the guys driving the cars are owed at least the respect enough to at least be a part of the process of what’s going on. Everybody is just a little bit frustrated with how all that’s been handled.”

It’s hard to say if there has been any improvement in those lines of communication since last year. But based on Hamlin and Childer’s recent tweets, it’s safe to suggest that there’s still a long way to go.