Erik Jones has been searching for a ride in the last several months since it was announced he would not return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021. Jones has been great the last seven races outside of Kansas and showed what he can do in NASCAR.
After all that has happened, it seems as if the 24-year-old Michigan native has found a ride with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Jones is finalizing a deal to join Richard Petty Motorsports in the famed No. 43 for the 2021 season, according to Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern. Jones was rumored as the leading candidate to take over the ride.
Jones began his career at Furniture Row Racing in 2017 driving the No. 77 Toyota. After the conclusion of the 2017 season, he moved to Joe Gibbs Racing to replace Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 car. He then won the first race of his NASCAR Cup Series career at Daytona International Speedway that season, followed by another win at Darlington Raceway in 2019.
Jones is one of NASCAR’s great young drivers. Before he was involved in an incident at Kansas Speedway, he was turning heads during the course of the 2020 NASCAR playoffs. Arguably, he has been one of the best drivers without a win.
Jones had the highest average finish of any driver and almost won Talladega with a second-place finish. The Michigan native has shown consistency and speed on a weekly basis. NASCAR will also race at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday, which happens to be one of Jones’ best tracks.
Erik Jones must be turning heads with his playoff performance. Here are Jones' stats from the last six races:— Austin Konenski (@AustinKonenski) October 12, 2020
– Average finish: 7.00 (Best among all drivers)
– Four top-5's.
– Five top-10's and top-20's.
– Showed great speed at Bristol and finished second at Talladega.#NASCAR
Jones has two career wins, 37 top-five finishes and 50 top-10 finishes through his first five seasons as a NASCAR Cup Series driver. He finished a personal best 15th in the standings in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing and brings big potential to a race team in need of a win.
This is a great move for Richard Petty Motorsports after losing rising NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace to Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s new race team. They may have not expected to land a driver of Jones’ caliber, but the dominos fell right for them as an organization.
Jones is a proven NASCAR Cup Series winner, and his statistics show he can compete for wins on a weekly basis. The hope is Jones will return the No. 43 car back to victory lane. Richard Petty Motorsports’ last win came at Daytona International Speedway in 2014 with Aric Almirola behind the wheel.
Jones and Richard Petty Motorsports are a great combination for two sides that need redemption once again.