It’s only three weeks into the NASCAR season and another driver has been punished.
On Thursday NASCAR fined NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin for comments following the race at Phoenix International Raceway last Sunday. NASCAR decided to fine Hamlin $25,000 for his violations to the NASCAR rule book. For his comments following the race, Hamlin was found to have violated section 12-1, actions detrimental to stock car racing.
Following the race on Sunday Hamlin voiced his opinion on the day’s racing in the new gen-six car.
” I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five car,” said Hamlin in a post-race interview.
In response to the fine towards Hamlin, NASCAR released the following statement:
“Following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Denny Hamlin made some disparaging remarks about the on-track racing that had taken place that afternoon. While NASCAR gives its competitors ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product.”
Thursday’s fine towards Hamlin is the latest punishment towards a driver since the season has started. Jeremy Clements was suspended indefinitely following a comment he made during the race weekend at Daytona.
Hamlin’s fine is not the first time he has gotten in trouble with NASCAR. In 2010 he was fined $50,000 for comments he made on Twitter following a Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland.
NASCAR has not been happy with a few comments drivers have made in the recent months. They might not like what drivers may be thinking, but it’s what helps the sport get to where it is. Fan, driver, and team input should always be taken into consideration.
All these fines might not go so with drivers and fans a like. With the latest reprimand from NASCAR following punishments for tweeting or having a phone in the car, to now making comments in an interview, things are starting to get out of control.