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Every Strange and Controversial Officiating Decision at Nashville

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What’s Happening?

Nashville Superspeedway produced one of the most chaotic races of 2025, some of which was due to officiating decisions. These are the strangest and most controversial officiating decisions from the Nashville weekend.

  • Some of the officiating decisions were NASCAR ruling to accommodate the late-race chaos. However, there were a couple of tussles between drivers.
  • Did NASCAR make the right decisions with these calls? We will analyze all sides of these decisions to see what they could have or should have done.
  • Fans were not happy with some of these decisions. However, controversy is always a part of motorsports.

Kyle Busch Getting His Spot Back

On the first overtime restart, Kyle Busch lined up fourth, stuck behind Ross Chastain as he spun up the race track. Busch was later given his spot back, lining up fourth again on the ensuing restart, despite Busch exiting the crash towards the back of the field. This goes against NASCAR’s typical policy: a driver loses their spot if they do not maintain speed or are involved in an accident.

On one hand, Busch was pretty helpless in that scenario, and he was stuck with Chastain spinning in front of him. However, the rule is that drivers have to maintain speed, or they lose their position. However, this call is not unprecedented, as in 2012 at Pocono, Brad Keselowski was given his spot back despite falling through the field after a crash. He finished fourth as the race never restarted, but Busch eventually crashed out on a later overtime attempt.

Layne Riggs vs Stefan Parsons

On Friday night, Layne Riggs and Stefan Parsons were fighting hard in stage two, and Riggs was unhappy with how it went. He gave Parsons a bump in turn three, sending him into the wall. Riggs was penalized two laps for the move.

Yes, NASCAR has been less lenient with drivers making these types of moves on the track, suspending Chase Elliott in 2023 and Bubba Wallace in 2022 as prime examples. However, this was not a right hook into the outside wall; it was just a tap on the back bumper. This call looked a bit stranger after another incident later in the weekend.

Carson Hocevar vs. Harrison Burton

Under caution late in the race at Nashville, Carson Hocevar right-hooked Harrison Burton, spinning him around. While Burton made no contact with the wall, it was an obviously intentional act. However, NASCAR swallowed the whistle, at least for now.

However, NASCAR is investigating the move, so the hammer may come down. Given what NASCAR did two days prior for a similar incident, it was strange to see nothing done at the moment it happened.

No Caution in the Last Overtime?

The Cup Series race at Nashville lasted five overtimes, the most in NASCAR history. When the white flag flew, there was a lot of contact, including Chase Elliott spinning across the line and a car in a cloud of smoke in the apron off of turn two. However, NASCAR let the race conclude under green.

This is not an uncommon practice for NASCAR to hold the flag on the last lap of the race to ensure a green flag finish. They did the same thing in the same race two years ago. If it does not present an immediate danger to the rest of the field, and the accident isn’t serious enough, NASCAR will let them race back.

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