NSCS: Why I’m Fine With ‘Secret’ Fines


Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

By: Toby Christie

We live in a world where everyone has a thirst for the truth, and a passion to be in the know.

That being said; obviously the proverbial droppings hit the fan this week when it was revealed by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, that two ‘star drivers’ have been fined this year for derogatory comments towards the sport.

First everyone wanted to know who the drivers were, and secondly why NASCAR kept this from the fans of the sport.

Well, in a week that has had a lot of stories of which to wage an opinion, I must say that I am actually with NASCAR on this.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

In the NBA when someone such as Mark Cuban speaks out against the referees, fans begin to question the product on the court whether there is an issue or not.

When ‘Spy-Gate’ with the New England Patriots went public in the NFL, everyone was quick to say the fix was in for the Patriots over the past few years that led to their dynasty.

In Major League Baseball several players have been caught using steroids, and all of a sudden people basically just assume everyone ‘juices’. Whether everyone does or not is irrelevant, as the perception reigns supreme.

Do you see where I’m going?

People look up to athletes and owners of teams.

Regardless of whether the person says something in the heat of the battle that may not be 100-percent the truth, their fans will take it as the gospel.

Today NASCAR went ahead and released the names of the two drivers that were fined; Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin.

If NASCAR would have announced these fines directly after the quotes that led to them, news outlets such as ESPN and others would have been quick to play the sound bites of the drivers downgrading their sport.

Every hour on the hour the story would have been pounded into your head, and along the way you’d probably start believing what the drivers said.

That is not good for business, especially for a sport that has lost ratings and considerable amounts of attendance in recent years.

Also for those who don’t understand why NASCAR will announce when someone has failed a drug test, yet they were hesitant to give any information on this story.

It’s pretty obvious why.

The decision to fine these drivers had no effect what-so-ever on the actual racing on the track.

When a driver fails a drug test they are officially suspended from the sport. Fans of those drivers have the right to know why their favorite is no longer going to be running for victories on Sunday.

In this case what good does it do for any of us to know that Denny Hamlin or Ryan Newman were fined for their bad decision to bash the sport in which they are a part of?

It was probably a pretty embarrassing moment for each of them and it should end there, instead of doing excess harm to the sport by having the comments re-air on television time after time.

NASCAR has done everything right over the past year as far as correcting a product to make it more enjoyable for fans. We are seeing the best racing ever, and the advent of the chase, double-file restarts, and green-white-checkers have made it where every week is unpredictable.

They have aligned themselves for a big rebound in the near future, and with possible schedule changes on the horizon, the old notion that ‘any press is good press’ no longer applies.

You have to understand that this wasn’t an instance of NASCAR keeping it’s fans in the dark, it was an example of them trying to help pave the future of the sport in my opinion.

And for that I applaud them.

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About Toby Christie

Toby Christie is the Senior Writer for Rubbings Racing. He has been watching NASCAR since 1993, and has covered the sport as a media member since 2007. Toby is a proud member of the NMPA. Additionally, Toby is a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan, subpar guitarist and he is pretty good around a mini-golf course.

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  2. Ken Marion, Va

    July 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Your statement that we are seeing “the best racing ever” is like the president saying “it could be worse”. The changes you mention is simply manipulation of the current racertainment that is being falsely called a sport.

    I hope you were paid well for your infomercial.

  3. Toby Christie

    July 29, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    @Ken Marion

    Thanks for reading my piece even if you believe it is an ‘infomercial’.

    Truth of the matter is that the racing we are seeing now… THE RACING… is the best we have ever seen. In qualifying now it isn’t uncommon to see first to 43rd separated by less than ONE SECOND. Just back a few years ago it was one second from first to second in qualifying.

    Not only this, but do you realize that we have had 13 of the 20 races so far this season decided by less than one second?! That’s 65-percent of the races decided by less than a second.

    Right now there is no margin for error, you make one slip up and you are no longer 5th, you are 25th.

    If you honestly believe that isn’t the best racing ever then my friend you are blind.

    Sure we may not have Earnhardt, Petty, Pearson, and Allison anymore… so I would agree with you if you said the personalities lack more than they did back then. But to say that the racing is not better is unfathomable, and un-true. If you don’t like the guys behind the wheel, you don’t like the television coverage, or whatever it is you don’t like in the sport you can’t deny that… We are seeing the closest racing ever period.

  4. Pingback: Frequently Asked Questions About NASCAR’s Secret Fines | Lead Lap's NASCAR News

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