NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet Jr. was fined $10,000 by NASCAR and will be required to participate in sensitivity training for violating NASCAR's Code of Conduct policy, according to an announcement from NASCAR on Tuesday. Piquet was also place on indefinite suspension.
The punishment comes as a result of a gay slur Piquet made on Instragram, commenting on a photo posted by fellow Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman. A fan snapped a screen shot of Piquet's comment and it was that screen shot that caught NASCAR's attention.
Piquet said on Twitter that the comment was meant as a joke between friends, tweeting, "Don't act like if you have never called your friends names. Were (sic) not living in the 50s anymore bud.. jokes are jokes."
The tweet was later deleted. Kligerman, meanwhile, didn't seem to take the comment seriously.
In its penalty announcement, NASCAR cited sections 7-5 (Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2013 NASCAR rule book.
"Nelson Piquet Jr. recently communicated an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said. "NASCAR's Code of Conduct explicitly spells out in the 2013 rule book our position regarding the use of disparaging terms. We expect our entire industry to abide by this code."