“Screaming through the media usually gets results”

In recent weeks, during interviews with members of the media, several Cup Series drivers have raised concerns about safety issues with the next-generation car, which usually draws the attention of NASCAR officials and fans.

“I think they are proactive now. Obviously they’ve made a number of changes this week. I think what the drivers and the teams are saying is we don’t have to yell through the media to get it done,” Hamlin said.

“It doesn’t help anyone and it certainly doesn’t help them, but the evidence was that media yelling usually gets results. That’s just the way it was. This is the most powerful tool you can have, and sometimes you have to use it to force change.”

After a serious fire in his No. 4 Ford during last weekend’s race at Darlington (SC) Raceway, Kevin Harvick blew up NASCAR in an interview during the race broadcast.

Harvick had not had any problems with his engine before the fire, nor had he sustained any damage to the car during the race.

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During a Saturday media availability session at the Kansas Speedway, he stormed into NASCAR again because he was slow to respond to concerns about how the car handles accidents.

Over the past week, NASCAR has ordered several changes to the next-generation car to address the fire issue. Fires first broke out in the cars of Joey Logano and Chris Buescher during the Indy Road Course weekend in July.

“I think[Harvick]is fed up with saying they could do it, they could do it and we’re working on it. Instead, they immediately made a change,” Hamlin said.

“But we want to see it come after the second fire, the first fire. Before that there were many, many fires.”

ongoing discussions

Hamlin was among a handful of drivers who met with NASCAR officials for about two hours over the past week over safety concerns.

He said conversations he’s had recently with NASCAR make him feel better, although Harvick remains unsatisfied.

“I definitely have a feeling they are working to help us with the chassis hits. All of these things take time. You can’t just reflexively start cutting bars out of the chassis, that’s very irresponsible,” he said.

“I think they are methodical to ensure that the next revision of the car improves in the areas where we need improvement, but that takes time through design and testing.”

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