Newman hasn’t heard from NASCAR

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Here’s a twist: Ryan Newman is eager to speak with NASCAR officials, but so far has not heard back from them.

Newman’s spent plenty of time in NASCAR’s trailer during his career for critical words or on-track clashes with competitors. This time, Newman said he can’t get a callback to discuss his worries following a late-race accident at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kurt Busch’s car went airborne during a wreck last Sunday and landed smack on top of Newman’s machine. Both drivers walked away unhurt. Still, Newman was frustrated about the accident and expressed his displeasure on TV.

“They can build safer race cars, they can build safer walls. But they can’t get their heads out of their (expletive) far enough to keep them on the race track, and that’s pretty disappointing,” Newman said at Talladega last Sunday.

He said Friday he tried to contact someone at NASCAR who could “make a difference,” but has yet to receive a response.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the organization had no comment about not getting back to Newman and added NASCAR routinely communicates with its drivers.

“No matter what the issue was, I voiced displeasure,” Newman said at Darlington. “From a communication standpoint as they’ve tried to do with us and I’ve tried to do with them, there needs to be a happy medium of taking on each other’s sides.”

Newman was not fined by NASCAR for his Talladega comments, a departure from earlier in the year when Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 for complaining the new Gen-6 car did not race as well as its previous car.

NASCAR chairman Brian France has given drivers permission to criticize anything but the cars and the on-track product.

Newman thought he voiced his opinion fairly and did not cross that line that would’ve gotten him a fine. “I could’ve said a lot more and paid a penalty, but I chose not to,” Newman said.

Hamlin was not surprised Newman wasn’t fined by NASCAR. Hamlin met with France in Las Vegas after his critical remarks and Hamlin remembers the chairman saying, “criticize the officiating all you want,” but don’t make harsh comments about the racing or the car.

Earlier Friday, NASCAR president Mike Helton said he hadn’t spoken with Newman, but the group’s determination was he was challenging NASCAR and not the product, so no fine was given.

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