It seems like every time we turn around there is another ‘blow’ to the sport of NASCAR, this time it comes with the news of a secret fine administered to Brad Keselowski after his remarks about the electronic fuel injection program (EFI).
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO, met with the media Friday afternoon, and as one might expect the topic of the ‘secret’ fines was a pressing issue.
In just the last two years, NASCAR has fined and penalized at least four drivers (that we know of) for negative comments. France did say in his press conference that there could be other fines that the public doesn’t know about.
“Drivers are going to be able to speak their mind and criticize the sport way more than any other sport would allow,” France said. “However, there has to be some limits, and we thought those limits were being exceeded in the last couple of years because you can’t denigrate the sport.
“You just can’t do that and we’re not going to accept that.”
Keselowski had called the move to fuel injection a ‘disaster’ and a public relations move that has no benefit.
When France was asked about whether or not he feels any ‘harm’ in keeping these ‘secrets’ behind the curtain, France said, “We’ve never been more transparent.”
The good news: Secret fines are only fairly ‘new’, which gives us some sort of assurance that this hasn’t gone on forever.
“We went for 50-something years and never had a system to fine anybody for disparaging remarks in the sport. We’re the only sport on the planet that had that. So we simply really in the last couple of years changed that policy because we thought we needed to.”
France did say they will take a look at the policy over the off-season.
“We’re happy to look at that in the off-season. See what benefit there would be,” said France.
“When it comes to social media, nobody is investing more, doing more, encouraging the drivers and everybody in the industry to participate on social media. Say what you want and all the rest.”