Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski NASCAR fines leave some questions


I was on Twitter after the fines and penalties were announced (read them here) from the on and off track activity that resulted from Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer.  It was apparent from the tweets that NASCAR fans are fired up as always.  Since some of you are questioning NASCAR, I thought I would explain their thinking.  Well I can’t explain their thinking but I certainly can give you my take.

Jeff Gordon – The bulk of the Tweets either way were why didn’t they park Jeff for next race at Homestead Miami Speedway.  The thought being Kyle Busch was parked last year for the same thing.  The reason Kyle Busch was parked was because NASCAR thought he had a pattern of retaliation and deemed his actions crossed the “Boys Have at it” line.

My Take -The reason Jeff Gordon was only fined is both because he is Jeff Gordon and because he is Jeff Gordon.  Jeff doesn’t intentionally dump drivers.  Jeff hasn’t intentionally dumped a driver in a long time.  Therefore according to the precedent set last year in parking Kyle, he hasn’t yet crossed the “Boys Have at it” line.  Don’t for a minute think that if Jeff does this again this weekend NASCAR won’t park him.  I am sure he has been told.

Crew Chiefs – There were also many Tweets on why the crew chiefs were fined.  Some noted that they were trying to stop the fighting or keep their driver from it.

My Take – Whether they like it or not the fines represent the “Chief” in Crew Chief.  They are responsible for the actions of all the members of their team including the drivers.  Doesn’t seem fair but that is the way it has always been.

Pit Crew – Not many questioned why members of the Pit Crews who were directly involved were not suspended or fined.

My Take – Although the actual crew members involved could be extracted from the video, it appeared to me that it would be hard if not impossible to say what members was crossing the line and fighting or simply holding people back.  Besides these guys work hard enough on the cars.

The last and perhaps biggest “What are they thinking?” fine

Brad Keselowski – While all of the above was going on Brad Keselowski took his cell phone out while in the car and tweeted not unlike he started the season.  He was fined because there is apparently a rule against recording devices in the car.  Some think the fine was more for the language he used in the press conference after the race although not explicitly indicated.

My Take – This is where I break with NASCAR and say what? After the fine was announced there was a clarification issued that indicated NASAR told drivers after Daytona that although it was OK there it would not be acceptable in the future.  I for one didn’t get the memo and from Twitter it is apparent that most all of the members of the media didn’t either.  If we had it would have been passed on to everyone else and there would be no discussion here.

My Take 2 – Although the language Brad used in the press conference would be objectionable if put on TV, the press conference is not broadcast live for the general public.  It is for the members of the press on site and broadcast to those media members offsite. (I happened to be watching live while I was eating dinner with my wife and daughter because of the late race but that is another story.)

One might have seen the conference or parts of it on the internet or even national TV.  That was taped and each venue broadcasting it knew in advance what was on it.  Brad doesn’t deserve a fine for speaking as he did in what he probably thought was a nonpublic setting.

There is My Take, what is yours.  Please Rant below that is what we are here for.

Brian Berg Jr. is the Lead NASCAR writer for

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