After numerous incidents following Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR handed down penalties. Tuesday afternoon, which is known as Penalty Day in the NASCAR world, brought the monetary punishments.
Brad Keselowski’s fine adds up to $50,000 for his behavior in post-race incidents. Keselowski, who finished 16th at Charlotte, was caught on-video side-swiping fellow driver Matt Kenseth on pit road. Sources also claim he “performed a burnout” in the garage area to intimidate Denny Hamlin, another driver with who he bumped heads.
Another fine goes out to Tony Stewart. His $25,000 fine comes from his actions on pit road as well; when Keselowski hit Kenseth, the No. 2 hit Stewart’s No. 14 in the rear bumper. In turn, Stewart threw the car into reverse and back up into Keselowski.
Both drivers are also in a four-race probation period. NASCAR’s senior vice president, Robin Pemberton, made a statement on the penalties.
“These penalties are about maintaining a safe environment follow the race. We knew that the new Chase format was likely going to raise the intensity level, and we want our drivers to continue to be themselves. However, the safety of our drivers, crew members, officials, and workers is paramount, and we will react when that safety could be compromised.”
Fans are reacting with outrage and surprised. Many are confused that Kenseth wasn’t punished after attacking Keselowski and tackling him to the ground. Others are perplexed with Stewart’s fine and what the mainstream media will run; nearly two months after the fatal incident involving Kevin Ward, Jr., Good Morning America covered the Charlotte chaos with incrimination comments about Stewart and his role in the action.
One thing is for certain: it costs a lot of money for boys to have at it.
Some video covering Saturday night’s altercations can be watched here.