NASCAR to halt secret fines

NASCAR will no longer fine its teams and drivers without making the fines public, the governing body announced Wednesday.

NASCAR was criticized harshly last season after fining Brad Keselowski $25,000 for publicly criticizing NASCAR's switch to fuel injection and never making the fine public. The existence of the fine was uncovered by a media outlet and later confirmed by the Penske Racing driver.

Other drivers have said they were fined in secret. Denny Hamlin was fined in 2010 for suggesting on Twitter that NASCAR issues phantom caution flags during races. Ryan Newman was fined that same season for critical comments about the racing at Talladega Superspeedway after a major wreck.

NASCAR chairman Brian France said during the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway he would look into the issue and consider a change.

It came on Wednesday.

"NASCAR will no longer issue fines that are undisclosed,'' the governing body said in a statement. "We looked at this issue from every angle and gathered feedback from the industry.

"While there are always sensitivities related to sponsor relationships and other leagues may continue issuing disclosed and undisclosed fines, NASCAR has decided that all fines moving forward will be made public after the competitor or organization that has been penalized has been informed.''

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.