Video: Jones takes out crossover steps at Charlotte during exhibition run

CONCORD, N.C. –  Erik Jones was the designated driver for TV exhibition runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and just before 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Jones made a rookie mistake in the NBC Sports show car.

Coming off Turn 4 and into the tri-oval at the 1.5-mile track, Jones guided the car up to the outside wall, unaware that the crossover steps leading down from a gate just before the start / finish line were still in place. You can guess the rest. The right front of the car hit the metal stairs and demolished them. Jones never saw the steps.

“It definitely was a surprise,” Jones said after the NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers’ meeting. “I knew I’d hit something, obviously, but had no idea what it was or that it was as big as it was. I would have never guessed it was some stairs. It was definitely a weird way to start the day.”

Saturday may have been weird, but Friday was downright disappointing for the driver for the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Jones’ car didn’t pass inspection in time to make a qualifying run for Sunday’s Bank of America 500. Accordingly, he’ll start 38th.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.