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Ryan Blaney critical of Carson Hocevar for his actions at Nashville

CHICAGO — Reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney was critical of Carson Hocevar on Saturday, saying he’s seen the rookie hook drivers “too many times,” but Hocevar suggested he wasn’t completely at fault in his incident with Harrison Burton last weekend.

NASCAR fined Hocevar $50,000 and penalized him 25 points for hooking Burton in the right rear and spinning him under caution at Nashville Superspeedway.

The penalty came about 15 months after NASCAR parked Hocevar for two laps for attempting to hook a competitor in a Truck race at Martinsville.

“That’s something I’ve seen too many times out of that guy from different series,” Blaney said of Hocevar. “That’s not cool. Don’t do that. They parked Layne Riggs for two laps for running through the back of somebody in that truck race (last weekend) at Nashville.

“I think everyone made a big deal when Hocevar did that in the Cup race, and then they rightfully penalized him after the race. That’s the only way you’ll get that stuff to stop. You have to make them pay a lot of money, fine them from points, things like that. If it’s bad enough, make them sit out.

“You know, that’s just stuff that you learn as a young driver. Don’t do. There are a lot of no-nos, and that’s one of them. And I don’t care if it’s under caution or under green, both of them are bad. Obviously, under green is worse.

“I think NASCAR did the right thing of penalizing because you have to slap people. There has to be repercussions for what you do when it’s something like that. And like I said, that’s something I’ve seen reoccurring with him that hopefully he learns from it, and hopefully when there’s a little bit of hole in his pocket after the money he had to pay, it teaches you a lesson of don’t do that anymore.”

Hocevar said he wanted to express his displeasure with Burton but just not the way that it happened.

“My intentions were not, by any means, to tap him around,” Hocevar said Saturday. “I went up to bump him, like you’ve seen a thousand times and happened to me a lot. He wanted to use 1,000 pounds of brake pressure in front of me. Obviously, it happened from that. … Moving forward, I just won’t initiate anything like that. If anything, I’ll talk to him after the race or I’ll go up next to him and throw my hand in the air, rather than use the racecar.”

Asked if felt he needed to show anything to the rest of the field after this incident, Hocevar said: “No.”

Asked if he agreed with the penalty, Hocevar said: “I respect their decision. Doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree.”

Hocevar added that “my team is very supportive of me … and they’ve reassured me of that. That’s what matters to me.”