Following Saturday night's third-place finish in the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, Jimmie Johnson called the traffic situation and stories of fans turned away from the event "disappointing."
Tuesday morning, the five-time champion emphasized fans need to be taken care of first and foremost, but that he has the confidence in Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. will make gains for next year.
"I know the Smith family well and I know they are very focused on the fan experience, and it was disappointing and unfortunate to have things turn out the way they did for the fans at the race," Johnson said. "I do know the fan experience is very, very important to them and they will work hard to get that corrected."
Despite some complaints from drivers this weekend, Johnson said the racing surface "needs to be lower on the list of priorities" for Kentucky Speedway as it has more pressing issues to work out.
"I don't think they can make all of the changes to get it up to par to make everyone happy, from a competition standpoint and from a fan standpoint," he said. "If they focus on the fans and the safety - there are some walls out there that don't have soft walls on it, and that's not cool. We need soft walls and all safety aspects looked at and cut no corners on that stuff. If we start there, we'll go back and have a great race."