NASCAR said it will stop issuing undisclosed fines. A practice that made fans distrust the sanctioning body.
It’s not clear how many times NASCAR failed to disclose a penalty against a driver or a team, but the practice first came to light midway through the 2010 season. When NASCAR secretly fined Ryan Newman for comments he made about the racing at Talladega Superspeedway, and also secretly fined Denny Hamlin for comments he made on the social network Twitter.
This past November, Brad Keselowski was secretly fined $25,000 for comments critical of the sport’s move toward electronic fuel injection.
The secret fines were typically issued for grievances drivers aired in public before discussing them with the sanctioning body.
NASCAR issued a statement saying. ”While there are always sensitivities related to sponsor relationships and other leagues may continue issuing disclosed and undisclosed fines, NASCAR has decided that all fines moving forward will be made public after the competitor or organization that has been penalized has been informed,”
NASCAR’s decision to forgo undisclosed fines was met with early enthusiasm from its drivers.
“I think it’s going to make it much clearer, you look at the NFL, you look at Major League Baseball, the NBA, and really these fines have been no different than what you see players and coaches getting fined for in those leagues. It’s just something that’s going to be open now, and you just have to not watch what you say, but don’t be a jerk about it toward the sanctioning body. The door is always open for you to go in there and talk to them and try to work through it. I think it’s great that it’s going public, and I think it will make it clearer, myself.” Said Kevin Harvick.
”What would be the benefit (of announcing fines)?” said NASCAR chairman Brian France ”The drivers know exactly what we’re after. They know exactly what we expect out of them and when they don’t handle that, the only way we can control that is, obviously, a fining system.”