Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural and driver Brian Sears spoke by phone on Tuesday and decided to issue a joint statement regarding the issues that were brought to light last week. Gural had informed Sears he would not be allowed to drive in qualifiers, baby races or overnights at the Meadowlands, and that ignited a firestorm of debate in social media. Gural and Sears have worked out the differences and Sears will now be allowed to drive at the Big M.
Sears said: "I'm pleased that Jeff and I had a chance to get together and talk about the issues that came to a head last week. I've known Jeff for a long time and so I'm comfortable speaking my mind with him. I may have said some things in our conversation that didn't come across very well. I respect the many good things that Jeff has done for harness racing and I'm glad that we can put our differences behind us and get back to a great summer of racing."
Gural said: "Brian is a friend of mine and I am glad we had a chance to clear the air this morning. Brian is a very talented driver and one of the best I have ever seen. Brian made some comments to me that particularly did not line up with my vision for harness racing but we have spoken about them and are moving forward. I completely understand why Brian makes the decision to race at Yonkers and he completely understands why I wish he would still race at the Meadowlands. At the end of the day, Brian must make the decision that is best for him as I make the decisions that are best for my three tracks. I told Brian he is welcome to race at any of my tracks (Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs) and hope that he will race at them often. We are both happy to put this behind us and move forward." (with files from Meadowlands)