According to the Associated Press, NASCAR has fined Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski for his critical comments of the move to electronic fuel injection. The fine is said to have been $25,000.
While NASCAR did not publicize the fine, several anonymous sources have confirmed it.
The comment that drew the fine came at an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Keselowski said:
We’re not doing this because it’s better for the teams. I don’t think we’re really going to save any gas. It’s a media circus, trying to make you guys happy so you write good stories. It gives them something to promote. We’re always looking for something to promote, but the honest answer is it does nothing for the sport except cost the team owners money. Cars on the street are injected with real electronics, not a throttle body (like in NASCAR). So we’ve managed to go from 50-year-old technology to 35-year-old technology. I don’t see what the big deal is.
NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp acknowledged that NASCAR spoke with Keselowski about the comment:
We did talk to Brad following his recent comments that were highly critical of the series moving to electronic fuel injection next season. We made it clear to him that these kind of comments are detrimental to the sport, and we handled it accordingly with him.
The fine should not come as a surprise to Keselowski, as NASCAR fined both Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin for comments they made last season.
Keselowski has the right to his opinion, and he does have the right to express that opinion. But, NASCAR has just as much right to fine Keselowski if they believe his actions are detrimental to the sport.