No More Double-Secret Probation
CHARLOTTE — NASCAR announced on Wednesday that the practice of undisclosed fines will stop immediately. It's welcome news to a public leery of the sanctioning body's use of double-secret probation in seasons past.
The official announcement read as follows:
"NASCAR will no longer issue fines that are undisclosed. We looked at this issue from every angle and gathered feedback from the industry. 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."
Because many inside the hauler conversations between NASCAR, drivers, crew chiefs, and team owners, have been behind closed doors putting a number on how many instances of secret fines there have been.
One of the first public outings of the scret action came during the 2010 season when word got out of Denny Hamlin's secret fine related to coments on his Twitter. Ryan Newman got the whisper treatment for publicly not making nice about the racing style at Talladega.
France took a lot of heat on the issue from the media and fans alike.
"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."
After the Homestead race was nearly overshadowed by the secret fine brewhaha, France relented and said they would examine the practice in the off season.
Wednesday's announcment comes on the eve of France's preseason conference with the motorsports media scheduled for Thursday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.