Monday, April 15, 2013
Updated: April 16, 7:46 PM ET
NASCAR won't fine Brad Keselowski
By David Newton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski will not be fined for his profanity-laced tirade directed at NASCAR following Saturday night's race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Keselowski lashed out at the governing body's integrity for confiscating the rear housing in his car and teammate Joey Logano's prior to the start of the race. Keselowski also was critical of NASCAR for two issues the previous weekend at Martinsville.
NASCAR chairman Brian France told the Fox Business Network on Monday that there are no plans to fine Keselowski for his comments. NASCAR officials confirmed the decision.
"That's the beauty of NASCAR," France said. "We do allow the drivers to express themselves in that way, even if they say things that we would disagree with. And I obviously disagree with everything he said.
"Look, they're frustrated. This is the most intense racing in the world. It's not surprising that every once in a while when things don't go your way you just blow off a lot of steam."
France did not comment on what penalties both Penske Racing drivers and teams might face for issues in the rear housing. Keselowski mentioned during his tirade he was concerned about losing crew chief Paul Wolfe and other members of his team.
NASCAR isn't expected to make an announcement on potential sanctions from Texas until Wednesday.
Keselowski is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday to honor his winning the 2012 championship.
That France said Keselowski would not be fined for his comments raised the question of how that differed from Denny Hamlin being fined $25,000 for comments made about the racing and "Gen 6" car after the Phoenix race.
France told ESPN.com two weeks ago the decision to issue that fine was basically his.
"The line that we draw is you can't criticize the racing product," France told Fox Business. "You can criticize our decisions, you can criticize everything else, which is more than any other sport might allow. Just don't go talking about our racing product isn't the best in the world, because it is."
Keselowski did not criticize the racing on Saturday. He went directly after the governing body for confiscating parts of his car at Texas, for delaying his team in inspection at Martinsville before practice and for penalizing the team for pitting outside his box during the race.
The team questioned the latter at the track.
"There's so much stuff going on, you guys have no idea -- you have no [expletive] idea what's going on," Keselowski told reporters after the Texas race. "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."
This isn't the first time Keselowski has been critical of NASCAR. Prior to the season, he was called to France's Daytona Beach, Fla., office after making disparaging comments in a USA Today article regarding teams, tracks and sponsors not always working together with NASCAR. He was not fined for that, either.
Despite these incidents, France is happy with the way Keselowski has represented the sport.
"He's a great champion," France told Fox Business. "I love the way he races. He's been very supportive of things we wanted him to do. I really think he just had a moment where he was blowing of steam and was probably highly frustrated with the weekend and how it went. I understand that."