HOMESTEAD, Fla. — NASCAR chairman Brian France defended the policy of fining drivers who make critical comments about the series, and said Friday he saw no benefit in making those penalties public.
The Associated Press on Thursday reported Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 for critical comments made last week about NASCAR’s move to fuel injection next season. It marks at least four times in two years drivers have been fined for comments and NASCAR has not announced them.
This latest incident has overshadowed NASCAR’s championship weekend, which was being celebrated for the tremendous title fight between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart before word of Keselowski’s fine spread.
“When you cross a line that denigrates the direction of the sport or the quality of the racing, we’re not going to accept that. Not going to accept it,” France said. “Happy to have any other criticism, any other complaint, happy to hear them all. If I own a restaurant and I say you know what, the food in my restaurant is not very good, we’re not going to accept it. It’s as simple as that.”
But he didn’t offer a clear reason why NASCAR doesn’t announce the fines.
“What would be the benefit? The drivers know exactly what we’re after,” he said. “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.”
TRUCKS SERIES: In Homestead, Fla., Austin Dillon played it safe and ended up winning big. Dillon, the 21-year-old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, finished 10th in the truck series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night – good enough to win the series championship.
Johnny Sauter won the rain-shortened race, holding off Denny Hamlin just before the final caution dropped. Sauter finished second in points, just ahead of James Buescher.