How does NASCAR justify fining Denny Hamlin $25,000 for honest criticism of the new Gen 6 cars that have been used for only two races?
In no other major sport would Hamlin have taken such a hit for saying only that the cars drivers previously raced were -- thus far -- superior.
"Right now you just run single file and you cannot get around the guy in front," Hamlin said.
NASCAR is big business but, as the fine attests, it also is family business.
Media and fans want personalities, want feuds, want drivers who are independent and controversial.
And then, when Hamlin says something mildly controversial, he's fined.
Hamlin says he won't pay.
Regardless of the outcome, the issue says much more about the sport than the driver.