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Chase Elliott: ‘Just make the rules and be done with it’

Former champions Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch raised questions this week about if NASCAR is listening to the drivers.

Reigning champion Joey Logano said he believes NASCAR listens, while Chase Elliott questions if his voice should be heard in some matters.

“Just make the rules and be done with it,” Elliott said Friday at Kansas Speedway.

The issue was raised after Monday’s race at Dover International Speedway. Busch said the high horsepower and high downforce package there was “terrible” and added “All I can do is bitch about it and fall on deaf ears and we’ll come back with the same thing in the fall.”

A couple of days later, Kevin Harvick said on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show: “I think a lot of Kyle’s frustration and what he’s saying bleeds over to other drivers. You don’t feel like your voice is being heard. … The driver’s voice is not being heard very much on things when it comes to competition, especially when it comes to this particular style of rules package, and then you get to Dover and it boils over after the first 11 weeks.”

Logano said Friday at Kansas Speedway that he felt drivers were being heard. Logano also recognized that drivers were not on the only ones consulted on various issues in the sport.

“There is plenty of other members that have a vested interest in what we do,” he said. “You think of our fans for one. It has to be a good race. It has to look good and be good passing. Our TV partners will weigh in on that. Media members weigh in on that. The team owners weigh in on that. And yes, the drivers will weigh in on that.

“Do I feel like the drivers have a great view of what is happening? Yeah, probably better than anyone because you can do all the CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) studies and show me all these squiggly lines but there is nothing like real life when you get out there and actually feel it. There are only 40 people that really know what it feels like out there. I feel like the drivers have a good opinion of what is going on, but we also have to realize and almost take a step back and look at it from a global view of what is best for our sport.

“There are a lot of good metrics going on and you guys have all seen them as far as the ratings and approvals and all that stuff. It is all trending the right way. Dover was a little different, but it wasn’t awful. There was still good racing back and forth, it was just different. To answer that, I do feel like our voice is heard. I just feel like it is not everything and it probably shouldn’t be everything because there are other groups that need to be heard as well.”

Elliott also addressed the question of if he was being heard.

“Frankly, I’ve tried to voice my opinion at different times or in those meetings we’re supposed to voice our opinions in,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’ve kind of come to the realization and maybe this will change as time goes, but I just don’t think my opinion really matters to the people who make the rules. Really and truly, I’m not sure that it should.

“Why do the owners and drivers and teams even have a voice in some of that stuff, really, when it comes down to it. Just make the rules and be done with it. Trying to make everybody happy. We’re racing. Either you like it or you don’t.”