Erik Jones penalized 60 points for inspection issues after Gateway

Erik Jones is the latest driver to receive a significant points penalty from NASCAR.

NASCAR announced Wednesday that Jones was penalized 60 points and crew chief Dave Elenz was suspended two races for illegally modifying the area around the car’s cockpit at Gateway on Sunday. Jones started 31st and finished 18th in that race.

According to NASCAR, the modifications to the roof of Jones’ car were the same modifications that Hendrick Motorsports had made in Richmond to the cars of Alex Bowman and William Byron. Bowman and Byron were also penalized 60 points.

Jones’ No. 43 team was also fined $75,000.

The point penalty drops Jones from 26th to 30th in the standings. He currently has 185 points and is 128 points from the 16th and last provisional position in the playoffs. He was only 68 points from 16th before the penalty.

Jones has scored two top-10 finishes so far this season. He finished eighth at Atlanta and sixth at Talladega. Those are the only two Legacy Motor Club top 10s so far this season. His rookie teammate Noah Gragson is 32nd in the points standings with no top 10 and team co-owner Jimmie Johnson is averaging 35th in his three starts.

Jones’ penalty comes a week after NASCAR penalized Chase Briscoe and his team 120 points for a counterfeit Coca-Cola 600 part. Briscoe was also penalized 25 playoff points if he makes the playoffs .

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 03: Erik Jones, driver of the #43 Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 03, 2023 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Erik Jones scored Legacy Motor Club’s only two top 10 finishes in 2023. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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