The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for Erik Jones has failed post-race inspection at Richmond Raceway, and has been disqualified.
Jones crossed the finish line fourth and would have earned 42 points but has been demoted to a last-place finish. He instead receives one point in the Federated Auto Parts 400.
Team officials said it was a rear toe issue with the car in inspection. They do not plan on filing an appeal.
Jay Fabian, managing director of the NASCAR Cup Series, said the standard process in the playoffs is to run every car through the Optical Scanning Station before doing a post-race inspection on the first and second-place finisher and a random car. The No. 20 car failed the OSS.
NASCAR has taken the car back to the R&D Center for further evaluation.
“There are fairly critical measurements on the rear wheel alignment that have to be followed, so there’s any number of things that the team could do or not do to make it fail,” said Fabian. “Standard process … we give a pretty strong allowance on what they can run pre-race to post-race, and it’s (the No. 20) crept out of that range.”
Fabian said officials did not see anything on the car that was designed to fail.
The disqualification negates what had been a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing, the first in its history. Jones and crew chief Chris Gayle also become the first NASCAR Cup Series team disqualified from a race this year.
“We’ve set the standard early in the year of what we expect, and teams have done a good job reacting to that,” said Fabian. “I think obviously as the pressure mounts and the season goes on, it doesn’t surprise me to see them pushing a little further and trying to get a little more out of their stuff. Sometimes it just crosses that line a little bit, and that’s all you need to to fail.”
Had the finish stood for Jones, he would have been three points out of a transfer spot. With the disqualification, Jones now faces a near must-win situation in the elimination race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he is 45 points below the cutline.