This is the Statt Mann Baby. It’s time to Scatt a little bit.

If you care about the autonomy of motor racing as competition and not side show you should pay attention to this mini confrontation between Denny Hamlin and NASCAR.

Hamlin was fined $25,000 last week for comments critical of NASCAR’s Gen-6 Sprint Cup car. Denny said he’s appealing the fine.

For me the conversation was elevated when Jeff Gordon this weekend said drivers should be more respectful of NASCAR and be careful what they say in interviews.

Gordon said it’s possible to speak your mind without an in-your-face attitude with NASCAR officials.

You can think what you want but, for me, I think a driver that gets fined for thinking what HE wants is a bit much. I understand that thinking and saying is two different things.

And, like Gordon said, its NASCAR’s sandbox so you must be careful how you play in it. But that’s the point. If it’s about the fans, as we always hear, shouldn’t a driver be able to express his mind? And, even more, appeal to his fan base?

Like I said, pay attention to this one especially if you believe racing is competition and not a high speed, highly regulated reality show.