DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Denny Hamlin has an idea that might improve fan experience at NASCAR races: Silence the roar of engines.

Hamlin says providing noise-canceling headphones to fans at tracks needs to be considered.

"To me, it goes in the basket with fan experience," Hamlin said at Daytona International Speedway. "When you talk to first-time people that come to the race for the first time, not everyone has access or can afford headphones. When you go to an NFL game or any other game, you don't have to have that. You can talk right next to the person beside you.

"That's a difficult thing (at races), especially if it's a short track in NASCAR. I think that it could, in the long run, be a better thing to help with that fan experience, be able to talk to the person beside you, be a little bit more social."

Finding ways to make races more enjoyable for fans has been a main topic of conversation in 2018, especially with attendance and TV ratings dripping.

Hamlin, who founded the drivers' council in the Cup Series, says making ear protection free and readily available at tracks has been "on the table" for a while.

"Hopefully it gets implemented at some point," he said. "But, still, it's racing. It's about loud cars and motors. It always has been."


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