Brad Keselowski stood at the podium as the 2012 NASCAR champion and vowed to embrace his role as a hopeful new face of the sport.
"As a champion, I want to be your leader," he said then.
He can still try and use his voice — just not from the newly formed driver's council.
Keselowski and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson were among the biggest names left out of the council. Drivers were apparently grouped in three different classes for the vote, and all three manufacturers had to be represented.
It's not clear exactly how many drivers are on the council, as not all those who participated have gone public.
Confirmed to have been present at last weekend's Dover meeting were: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Tony Stewart for Chevrolet; Denny Hamlin for Toyota; and Joey Logano for Ford. Larson was selected as the reigning rookie of the year and a representative of the younger drivers.
"I didn't earn the spot," Keselowski said this week in Michigan. "To earn the spot you had to be the highest driver in each respective manufacturer and I wasn't the highest Ford and the numbers games being what they are with the Chevrolet drivers kind of having control of the senate, so to speak, I wasn't going to get voted in and I understand that."
Johnson made light of the fact at Dover he was not invited to join to council.
"Haven't won enough races or championships," he said.
Johnson said he was glad the drivers now have a singular voice with NASCAR.
"I truly believe in the council," he said Friday at Pocono Raceway. "I'm very happy with the election process."
Among topics discussed in that meeting was competition, the 2016 rules package, attendance and safety.
Keselowski said he would have addressed the car's reliance on aerodynamics.
"Aerodynamics are really cool from an engineering standpoint and showcase all the technology in the sport that perhaps gets written off as not having a lot of technology," he said. "To that end game, it also creates a lot of issues with our product to our fans. As the cars get faster by themselves with aerodynamics they get slower in a pack because they drag each other down. That really prohibits the side-by-side passing and a lot of things we like to see as race fans and competitors that make the wheels of our sport go around, which is the fans and their happiness."