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NASCAR Discouraging Negative Spin of Sport
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) -- NASCAR president Mike Helton says that while the league encourages emotion from its drivers, it doesn't want anyone sending the message that the sport isn't worth watching.

Helton's comments came after a report by The Associated Press said that NASCAR has fined at least two of its top drivers this season for making critical comments about the circuit.

People familiar with the penalties told the AP the comments were considered disparaging to the sport. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR was not publicly identifying the topflight drivers it fined. They said one driver was penalized as much as $50,000.

Helton says that NASCAR is striving to send a positive message about the sport. He says the penalized drivers haven't been named because NASCAR views it as similar to conversation officials might have with drivers after an on-track incident. Those talks usually remains private, as well.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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