Monday, July 26, 2010

From the AP - NASCAR Fines Top Drivers for Disparaging Remarks

Looks like freedom of speech is a right that doesn't extend to the NASCAR garage.

Jenna Fryer, who covers NASCAR for the Associated Press, made waves in the NASCAR online community today with her story that the sport's officials have privately fined two star drivers for making disparaging remarks about NASCAR.

Fryer's sources spoke on condition of anonymity (and who could blame them, if NASCAR is being so hard-nosed about its brand?), and there were no identified sources in the story.

That said, Fryer is one of the most respected NASCAR journalists around - and I'm sure we'll be finding out more  about this story in the weeks to come:

NASCAR gets tougher to protect its brand
By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Concerns about a half-empty race track dogged NASCAR long before Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the sanctioning body’s top officials didn’t want to discuss attendance or any other ailments plaguing the nation’s No. 1 racing series.

The conversation was instead steered to all the things NASCAR is doing right, a theme that became evident before the season started, when competitors spread a message of hope and unity.

Turns out that the racing series was serious about keeping everybody on point.

The Associated Press has learned that NASCAR warned teams during the offseason that public criticism of the sport would no longer be tolerated, and at least two star drivers have been fined—one as much as $50,000—for comments that were deemed destructive to the industry.

Read the rest of the story here.

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