NASCAR: Two drivers issued massive points penalties

Erik Jones, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, Petty GMS Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Petty GMS Motorsports teammates Ty Dillon and Erik Jones have both been issued massive points penalties by NASCAR ahead of Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway.

Prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400, NASCAR assessed L1-level penalties to the #42 team and the #43 team, both of Petty GMS Motorsports.

The #42 Chevrolet of Ty Dillon and the #43 Chevrolet of Erik Jones were both found to be in violation of Sections 14.6.5.E of the NASCAR Rule Book, pertaining to rocker box assemblies.

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Dillon and Jones were each docked 35 points in the driver standings, and their teams were each docked 35 points in the owner standings.

Dillon’s crew chief, Jerame Donley, and Jones’s crew chief, David Elenz, were both ejected.

Dillon had been sitting in 28th place in the point standings with 314 points. He now sits in 30th, having dropped below RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski and Front Row Motorsports rookie Todd Gilliland.

Jones had been sitting in 18th place in the point standings with 465 points. He now sits in 19th with 430, having dropped below Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin.

While neither driver was even remotely close to getting into the playoffs on points with six of the regular season’s 26 races remaining, these penalties could still be significant in the event that one (or both) of them pull off an upset win before the regular season ends.

There have already been 14 different winners in 2022.

In the event that there are more than 16 different winners in the regular season, that would inevitably leave at least one of the single-race winners out of the postseason.

The tiebreaker among single-race winners to determine who gets the remaining postseason berths, behind however many multi-race winners there are, is points.

So if Dillon or Jones do happen to win one of the final six regular season races, it is very possible that these 35-point penalties could keep them out of the playoffs, depending on who the other single-race winners are by the time the regular season wraps up at Daytona International Speedway next month.

Jones has two career victories to his name, including one at Daytona International Speedway in July 2018. Dillon’s career-best finish is a third place finish in another superspeedway race at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2020.

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The M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Pocono Raceway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET this afternoon. Be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV now!