Could it be true? Could NASCAR really have issued another secret penalty, even after the negative public relations fallout from last year's unannounced fines to drivers who criticized the sport?
Say it ain't so.
Newman, of course, was also penalized then – along with Denny Hamlin – after comments about racing at Talladega landed him in hot water (Hamlin was fined $50,000 for tweets detrimental to stock car racing).
Certainly, though, NASCAR has learned its lesson about transparency since that time. Officials wouldn't have done it again, would they?
Believe it or not, it seems as though it may have happened again.
When fans who saw Noble's tweet started tweeting Newman's wife, Krissie, about whether her husband was fined, she responded:
@krissienewman: I am not commenting on the "secret fine" ask @odsteve (NASCAR VP Steve O'Donnell) if you want to know.
For the record, we asked NASCAR on Monday afternoon, and this was the comment we received from NASCAR's Kerry Tharp:
Anything relevant to discussions NASCAR has with the competitors in the hauler stays between NASCAR and the competitors. And NASCAR will always work to protect that bridge of confidence.
It will be interesting to hear what Newman has to say about this at Pocono.