Car in the NASCAR Playoffs has been disqualified; First disqualification in NASCAR Cup Series since new rules were introduced
On Saturday night, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series unloaded at the short track. The 0.75-mile oval of Richmond Raceway hosted race number two of the NASCAR Playoffs.
Joe Gibbs Racing drove to the front of the field. Martin Truex Jr was spun by a lap car and still took the race win.
Meanwhile, his teammates finished right behind him. For the first time in team history, they locked out 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
It’s standard procedure that every car in the NASCAR Playoffs is run through the OSS inspection after the race.
For the first time since the new rules were introduced in 2019, we’ve just seen a disqualification on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level.
Erik Jones finished 4th. Following post-race inspection, he has been disqualified.
Jones earned 42 points during the event. After the disqualification, he’ll only earn 1 point for his efforts on Saturday night.
Erik Jones is one of the 16 drivers fighting for a chance at the next round in the NASCAR Playoffs. Four drivers will be eliminated next week at The Roval.
Earlier this month, Erik Jones signed a one year extension to continue driving for Joe Gibbs Racing through 2020.
Jay Fabian on Erik Jones inspection failure
“There’s fairly critical measurements on the rear wheel alignment that have to be followed,” Jay Fabian, managing director for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stated.
“There’s any number of things that the team could do, or not do, to make it fail. Standard process, we give a pretty large allowance on what they can run pre-race to post-race. It’s crept out of that range.”
“We checked the equipment to make sure all the equipment was in order. We didn’t see anything that was designed to fail.”
Sometimes, teams will make parts that are designed to fail after pre-race inspection. When it breaks, the car runs better. Fabian is saying that wasn’t the case here.
“At the end of the day, the result is the same, it failed.”
“Rear wheel steer is important and a critical factor in downforce as an aero benefit. To get more skew in the rear. So, we keep those parameters pretty tight so that everybody is racing with the same thing.”
When the car is skewed to the right, it puts the rear spoiler further to the right and into the air.
“That’s the key to running all 16 cars through there. It’s important to keep the playing field level. To make sure all the playoff cars are the same and they pass that thing.”
“We’ve set the standard early in what we expect. The teams have done a good job reacting to that. As the pressure mounts and the season goes on, it doesn’t surprise me to see them pushing a little further. Trying to get a little more out of their stuff.”
“Sometimes you just cross that line by a little bit and that’s all you need to fail.”