Nascar

Driver Council agrees to pay Tony Stewart $35,000 fine

  • FILE - In this March 4, 2016, file photo, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart speaks during a news conference in Las Vegas. Stewart has been cleared to return to racing and will be back in his car Friday, April 22, 2016, at Richmond International Raceway. The three-time NASCAR champion missed the first eight races of the season with a fractured vertebra suffered in a January all-terrain vehicle accident. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

    FILE - In this March 4, 2016, file photo, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart speaks during a news conference in Las Vegas. Stewart has been cleared to return to racing and will be back in his car Friday, April 22, 2016, at Richmond International Raceway. The three-time NASCAR champion missed the first eight races of the season with a fractured vertebra suffered in a January all-terrain vehicle accident. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (19) leads the field during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

    Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (19) leads the field during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)  (The Associated Press)

Tony Stewart's peers will pay the $35,000 fine NASCAR levied against the three-time champion for criticizing the series about a potential safety hazard during races.

The nine-member driver council said in a statement released by Denny Hamlin it agreed to equally pay the fine. Stewart is a member of the council, which was formed last year and its members are elected by all the drivers in the Sprint Cup Series.

The statement was first obtained late Thursday night by NBC Sports. In it, the group said it disagreed with the fine levied against Stewart earlier in the day for warning NASCAR that not policing lug nuts on pit road was a safety hazard.

Some teams are not applying all five lug nuts during tire changes for a faster pit stop. It's led to a rash of loose wheels the last two races.