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NASCAR penalizes Austin Hill for Charlotte infraction

NASCAR has issued a penalty to Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Hill for his involvement in an incident with Cole Custer Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR fined Hill $25,000 for violating the Rule Book, Sections 4.4B: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct Penalty Options And Guidelines. Additionally, NASCAR assessed Hill with the loss of 25 driver points. This penalty drops Hill from the championship lead to third in the Xfinity standings.

This section of the NASCAR Rule Book includes the following penalty guidelines:

  • Wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.
  • Any actions deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others.

The incident began during the final stage of the Xfinity race. Hill and Cole Custer were racing for spots inside the top five when they made contact multiple times. Custer hit the outside wall. He then moved down the track and hit Hill.

The contact cut a tire on Hill's No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and sent it into Custer's No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in Turn 1. Custer remained pinned against the outside wall while Hill kept his foot on the gas pedal. Hill continued pushing Custer until the No. 00 spun down toward the inside wall.

Hill was able to make it to pit road for repairs and continue in the race. He finished 25th and two laps behind the leaders. Custer had to head to the garage with a wrecked race car. He finished 32nd.

"[Hill] put me in the fence off [Turn] 4 and then we hit on the frontstretch because I was gonna go pinch him down," Custer said after he exited the infield care center. "And he decided to try and go up and side-draft me and then we hit again.

"And then I don't know if he blew a tire into [Turn] 1 or what happened into 1, but then he tried to kill me on the backstretch and just held it full throttle until he wrecked our car and killed the rear clip."

Hill met with media members after the race. He said that Custer had "barely grazed" the outside wall and that there was no reason for Custer to destroy his race car. Hill acknowledged that he had "overdid it" by keeping in the gas until Custer spun.

NASCAR's penalty report also included fines for Truck Series crew chiefs. No. 5 Tricon Garage crew chief Derek Smith and No. 38 Front Row Motorsports crew chief Dylan Cappello both received $2,500 fines for one loose lug nut on each of their trucks.