Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France revealed on Monday that defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski will not be fined for comments he made about the sanctioning body on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.
An angry Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR after the 500-mile race at Texas, in response to officials confiscating the rear-end housing and other parts on his No. 2 Ford during pre-race inspection. His Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, also had the same parts seized on his No. 22 car during the inspection process.
France said during an interview on the cable news Fox Business Network that Keselowski will not be penalized for his comments.
"No, we're not, because 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. I would certainly disagree with everything (Keselowski) said."
Keselowski, who finished ninth at Texas, vented his frustration towards NASCAR's actions when he spoke with reporters shortly after the race ended.
"I have one good thing to say, and that's my team and the effort they put in today to fight back with the absolute (expletive) that's been the last seven days in the garage area," Keselowski said. "The things that I've seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I'm not happy about it. I don't have anything positive to say, and I probably should just leave it at that."
Keselowski was also upset with an incident that occurred during the April 7 race at Martinsville Speedway. A NASCAR pit lane official noticed that the right-front tire on Keselowski's car was outside his stall when he pitted in the closing stages. He had to be pushed back into the correct position and ended up losing several spots in the field. He bounced back for a sixth-place finish there.
"There's so much stuff going on that you guys (media) have no idea, you have no (expletive) idea what's going on," Keselowski also said at Texas. "I can tell you there's nobody, no team in the garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen in my life."
Last month, NASCAR slapped Denny Hamlin with a $25,000 fine for his critical remarks made about the new Sprint Cup race car, the Gen-6, at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR noted that Hamlin "made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon (March 3 at Phoenix)."
France explained why NASCAR penalized Hamlin and not Keselowski.
"The line that we draw is that you can't criticize the racing product," France said. "You can criticize our decisions, and 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."
The Sports Network