NASCAR warns drivers of penalties for skipping media, being 'verbally aggressive' with reporters
NASCAR is cracking down on drivers who skip mandatory media sessions or who are "verbally aggressive" with reporters.
According to NBC Sports, officials issued a memo to all teams Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway warning of penalties for drivers who “fail to complete their media obligations or (are) verbally aggressive toward a NASCAR staff member or media member.”
NASCAR drivers are generally regarded as media friendly, and the sport's top stars have an open media session early each race weekend. But this season, the sanctioning body adopted a new policy that all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers must enter a "bullpen area" for media availability after qualifying. Drivers finishing in spots 3-10 in each race must also visit the media area (the winner and runnerup, along with another driver of note, hold their post-race interviews in the media center).
But NASCAR noted in the memo that “select drivers have intentionally missed media obligations or refused to give an interview during a bullpen session. We also have been made aware that some drivers have been verbally aggressive with media members. It goes without saying that is something we need to course correct in short order.”
No penalty was specified, but NBC Sports notes the NASCAR rulebook outlines penalties of $10,000 to $50,000 for such an infraction.