NASCAR penalizes Carson Hocevar 25 points and fines him $50K for spinning Harrison Burton under caution

Carson Hocevar’s spin of Harrison Burton under caution at Nashville turned out to be costly.

NASCAR fined Hocevar $50,000 and penalized him 25 points after he purposely turned Burton on the backstretch after a caution flag had flown.

Brad Keselowski hit the wall after contact with Austin Dillon in Turns 1 and 2. As the field slowed following the wreck with 58 scheduled laps to go, Hocevar took some frustration out on Burton.

Hocevar wasn’t penalized during the race, even though NASCAR race control had penalized Layne Riggs two laps for reckless driving during Friday night’s Truck Series race. Decisions aren’t always consistent between officials in NASCAR’s top three series, but it was still a bit jarring to see Riggs penalized while Hocevar escaped in-race punishment.

Hocevar went on to finish 16th after the chaotic five-overtime finish Sunday. Joey Logano won the race after he stretched his fuel more than 100 laps. Burton finished 28th to continue what's been a miserable year. He's 33rd in the points standings.

Hocevar was 22nd before the penalty and is now 24th and 181 points outside the final playoff spot. Hocevar will need to win a race over the final seven regular-season races of the season to make the playoffs, and that's much easier said than done given his two top-10 finishes and three laps led through the first 19 races of the season.

If anything, the points penalty could be pivotal in the Rookie of the Year race. Hocevar is now 50 points back of Josh Berry as the top rookie in the points standings.