A group of current and former NASCAR Cup Series drivers have formed the Drivers Advisory Council to work with the sanctioning body for the sport’s future success.
The group’s mission is to move the sport forward and construct positive change. The council will be an independent group of members. All have a shared passion for competition “and sustainability of racing, is committed to further improving the areas of safety in motorsports, growing and enhancing the sport, and maximizing the opportunities for drivers to achieve success both on and off the track.”
Seven drivers will serve as the board of directors, including former champions Kurt Busch and Joey Logano. Current competitors on the board are Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Corey LaJoie and Daniel Suarez. Former driver Kyle Petty is also on the board.
“As a current driver and also a team owner, I now see things from a different perspective, and that has made me appreciate the importance of collaboration across the industry,” said Hamlin. “The new council will deliver a unified, collective voice from the drivers to help address any challenges we face and help accomplish the common goals the industry shares.”
Hamlin was instrumental in developing the previous drivers council, which began in 2014. It was a rotating panel of drivers who communicated with NASCAR on various matters. But the group faded away by 2019 after accomplishing much of its goals and helping bridge the communications gap between the garage and NASCAR officials.
Jeff Burton will lead this effort by working with the board as director of the council.
“I’ve been fortunate to have many roles within the sport, and I’m excited to add this venture into the fold,” Burton said. “I’m humbled and honored that the drivers have asked me to help with this effort. I believe we have a great sport, and this council has the opportunity to work together with the entire industry to make it even better.
“Personally, I will also continue my work with NBC and provide fresh insight to our viewers at home. This new role with the council will only elevate the broadcasts.”
Said NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell, “Collaboration is critical to our growth, and we welcome any opportunity to strengthen communication with our drivers. We often look to drivers for input when making decisions that affect the sport, and the Drivers Advisory Council will help streamline that communication. Working together, we will continue to deliver the great NASCAR racing experience our fans expect and deserve.”
The RTA (Race Team Alliance) will support and work alongside the new council.
“One of the keys to our sport being successful is collaboration among all of its stakeholders,” said Dave Alpern of Joe Gibbs Racing and co-chair of the Team Owner Council. “Having a formalized group through which the drivers can better communicate will be a great asset for all of us. They picked the perfect guy to lead the Drivers Advisory Council in Jeff Burton and have assembled a solid board of directors to get the group started with a strong, unified voice.”