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NASCAR responds to criticism of rules package

The best drivers in the world are not supposed to be easy to pass. That was the rebuttal from NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell when he was asked about driver criticism for the high-drag, high-downforce Cup Series rules package following Monday’s rain-delayed GanderRV 400 at Dover International Speedway. “I would probably start with, he didn’t have the race he wanted and I’m not surprised at what he said,” O’Donnell said [about Kyle Busch]. “What’s unfortunate, he actually tied a record (for most top-10 finishes to start a season), and the question I’m asked is about his comments postrace. His teammate was able to win and pass every car in the field, and he chose to make the comments he did. If you look at the package, no matter what we’ve put out there, drivers always say it’s hard to pass, and our comment back to that has always been that these are the best drivers in the world, and it’s going to be hard to pass.”
“It’s important to remind everyone that when we talk about his package, it wasn’t done in a vacuum. The entire industry said we wanted a consistent package for every racetrack. Dover we knew going in was going to be a challenging track. All in all, I think the first two stages presented some really good races. I would choose to go back and look … you always ask me how the overall season has been, we’ve seen some really good racing, we’ve seen some stats that are up from passing, green-flag passes for the lead are up 46 percent. That’s an important stat for the industry, and that’s one we’re going to continue to focus on, and we’re going to go to Kansas and focus on putting on good races. That’s how I would address Kyle.”
But Busch was not the only malcontent. Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine tweeted support for Busch and his own critique of the rules package, even suggesting he would face competitive repercussions from the sanctioning body if he spoke out any louder.(Autoweek)(5-7-2019)