Erik Jones is the latest driver to get a significant points penalty from NASCAR.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that Jones had been penalized 60 points and his crew chief Dave Elenz was suspended two races for illegal modifications to the area around the cockpit of the car at Gateway on Sunday. Jones started 31st and finished 18th in that race.
Per NASCAR, the modifications that were made to the top of Jones’ car were the same modifications Hendrick Motorsports was found to have made at Richmond to the cars of Alex Bowman and William Byron. Both Bowman and Byron were also penalized 60 points.
Jones’ No. 43 team was also fined $75,000.
The points penalty drops Jones from 26th to 30th in the standings. He currently has 185 points and is 128 points back of the 16th and final provisional position in the playoffs. He was just 68 points back of 16th before the penalty.
Jones has scored two top-10 finishes so far this season. He was eighth at Atlanta and sixth at Talladega. Those are the only two top-10 finishes by Legacy Motor Club so far this season. Rookie teammate Noah Gragson is 32nd in the points standings with no top 10s and team co-owner Jimmie Johnson has an average finish of 35th in his three starts.
Jones’ penalty comes a week after NASCAR penalized Chase Briscoe and his team 120 points for a counterfeit part at the Coca-Cola 600. Briscoe was also penalized 25 playoff points if he makes the playoffs.