Erik Jones’ hopes of advancing past the Round of 16 in the NASCAR Playoffs took a hit Sunday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jones’ No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota slowed on the restart for Stage 2, forcing the driver to bring the car down pit road.
RELATED: Las Vegas results
Jones reported over the radio at the time the car’s throttle was stuck in second gear, and after his crew worked on the car in the pits, he was forced to take it to the garage. By the time Jones returned to the race, he was 16 laps down and in last place. He ultimately finished the South Point 400 in 36th, completing 254 of the 267 laps at the 1.5-mile track in Nevada, as teammate Martin Truex Jr. took the checkered flag and solidified his spot in the Round of 12.
“It’s unfortunate … I definitely think we could have run top five,” Jones told NBCSN after the race. “Just go to Richmond and go to work. … We were fast there in spring. Just have to bring a fast car and put it into contention.”
Jones entered the playoffs seeded 10th with 2,005 points, the five bonus points coming from his recent win at Darlington Raceway. He added just two overall points thanks to his 10th-place finish in Stage 1. That puts him at 2,007 points, which lands him 26 points below the cutline in 16th with two races left in the Round of 16.
The Federated Auto Parts 400 is next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Richmond Raceway.