NASCAR defended its policy of fining drivers who make critical comments about the series on Friday. Brian France, NASCAR Chairman, says he saw no benefit in making the penalties public. When pushed about the penalties France explained the policy will be reconsidered. ”We’ll look at it over the offseason. If we need to change it, we’ll change it. Not a big deal.”
This all coming after Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 for critical comments he made last week about NASCAR’s move to fuel injection next season, calling next year’s move to fuel injection ”a disaster.”
Denny Hamlin was fined last year for questioning on Twitter the legitimacy of debris cautions, and Ryan Newman has drawn two fines — one for complaining about racing at Talladega, another for an incident with Juan Pablo Montoya inside the NASCAR hauler at Darlington this year.
Hamlin said on Friday ”I stopped quite a bit when I did get fined, and anybody would in that situation, So, yeah, you reserve your comments to outside of the sport, talking about your day. It definitely changed the way I use my Twitter account. I’m not going to keep getting fined. I for sure want to go out there and speak my mind on some things I do and don’t agree with, but I am not going to just keep hacking up a fine every time I have an opinion.”
The NBA and NFL both fine coaches and players for critical and outspoken comments about the league and officiating. NASCAR has toughened up when drivers have made comments that could potentially damage the sport. NASCAR had no such policy for the longest time.