NASCAR will not penalize Erik Jones for standing down

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

NASCAR has announced that they will not penalize the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 team for standing down on Sunday. Driver Erik Jones also was not penalized.

It was clear as day that Jones was given orders not to pass teammate Denny Hamlin on Sunday at Martinsville. By not passing Hamlin, it gave the FedEx driver enough points to advance to the Championship 4.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Erik Jones competing at the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
Erik Jones competing at the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 (Photo by Erik Jones/Instagram)

“After conducting a review of the on-track competition and 20 team radio communication from Sunday’s race at Martinsville, NASCAR will not issue any penalties to the 20 team,” NASCAR said.

Related: Richard Petty Motorsports hires Erik Jones as 2021 driver

Jones finished 12th in the second-to-last race of the season. Hamlin finished one slot ahead of Jones for the 11th spot.

“He’s blocking you because he needs the points.” the team communication said. “It’s really tight between the 11, 2 and the 4. Don’t pass him Jones.”

As a result of Jones standing down and not passing Hamlin, the 39-year-old is in the mix for his first NASCAR Cup Series Championship. He’ll be joined by Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano.

Related: Hamlin, Jordan team up with Bubba Wallace for new team in 2021

Of the final four drivers, only Logano and Keselowski have won Championships. Keselowski won the 2012 Championship, while Logano won the Championship in 2018.

Jones was fired by Joe Gibbs Racing in August. Despite being fired, he will finish the season with the team, before being replaced by Christopher Bell for the 2021 season.

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