Keselowski says NASCAR punishing his team Brad Keselowski will not be fined for the profanity-laced comments he made criticizing NASCAR following Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Monday.
After parts of his car were confiscated in prerace inspection, the defending Sprint Cup champion said his Penske Racing team was being unfairly targeted by NASCAR and NASCAR officials.
The team still could face penalties for possible technical infractions found prior to the event.
“That’s the beauty of NASCAR — we do allow the drivers to express themselves in that way, even if they say things that we would disagree with,” France said during an appearance on the Fox Business network.
“I would certainly disagree with everything that he said.”
NASCAR has fined drivers for comments that disparage the sport. It fined Denny Hamlin $25,000 last month for saying that NASCAR’s new car did not race as well as the former car.
“The line that we draw is you can’t criticize the racing product,” France told the network. “You can criticize our decisions. You can criticize everything else, which is more than any other sport might allow.
“But just don’t go talking about our racing product isn’t the best in the world — because it is.”
Keselowski didn’t complain about the new car or the quality of racing but did question NASCAR’s integrity for what he felt was undue scrutiny in the past few weeks.
Not only did he have parts and pieces from his car confiscated Saturday, but the previous week at Martinsville, he nearly didn’t get to qualify because his car had trouble getting through inspection. During the race he was penalized for pitting outside his pit box, a ruling his team disputed.
“There’s so much stuff going on, you guys have no idea — you have no (expletive) idea what’s going on,” Keselowski said after the race at Texas. “I can tell you there is no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team.
“The way we’ve been treated over the last seven days is absolute shameful. I feel like we’ve been targeted over the last seven days more than I’ve ever seen a team targeted in my life.”
Keselowski had finished ninth in the race at Texas but was still fuming over the technical issues, which required the two Penske teams to replace the rear-end housing on their cars less than two hours before the event.
“I don’t have a lot of good things to say right now,” Keselowski said following his ninth-place finish. “I take that back. I have one good thing to say and that was my team and the effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bull (expletive) that’s been the last seven days in this garage area.
“The things that I’ve seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything I believe in and I’m not happy about it.”
France believes it was just frustration that fueled Keselowski’s comments.
“They’re frustrated, this is the most intense racing in the world and not surprising that every once in a while when things don’t go your way, you just sort of blow off a lot of steam,” France told Fox Business.
Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 in 2010 when he questioned whether there was debris on the track during a Nationwide Series race at Chicago or whether NASCAR threw a caution flag just to bunch up the field.
Keselowski was fined in November 2011 for saying that the move to electronic fuel injection was more of a public relations ploy than for helping the cars and teams.
The 2012 Cup champion did escape a fine, though, in February when he was critical of the sport’s business model. Those comments resulted in a closed-door meeting with France but did not lead to a fine.
“He’s a great champion,” France told Fox Business. “I love the way he races. He’s been very supportive of things we’ve wanted him to do.
“I really think he had a moment where he was blowing off some steam and he was probably highly frustrated at the weekend and how it went.” Sporting News
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