INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced a contract extension for current driver Erik Jones. The deal is reportedly a one year contract as the Michigan native will be in the same situation next year as the one that he current came out of.
Jones, will continue to drive the No. 20 Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2020 alongside teammates Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.
“I’m so happy to finally have my plans for 2020 confirmed and to talk about it,” Jones said in a team release. “I’m excited to be staying with Joe Gibbs Racing and the 20 team and to continue the success that we have built over the last two years in the Cup Series. I put my heart and soul into this and this race team. This is my living and how I want to make a career and what I want to do. I’ve been racing with JGR since 2014 and it’s really cool to be able to continue with the foundation we’ve built over the years and hopefully win more races and contend for championships together.”
The 2020 season will be Jones’ fourth in NASCAR’s premiere series and third with JGR. He initially started with Furniture Row Racing in 2017 as a teammate to Truex Jr. For 2018, JGR didn’t bring Matt Kenseth back and shift Jones from FRR to JGR as Kenseth’s replacement.
Jones, has had interesting numbers while with JGR. He just won his second career race on the Cup level last Sunday night in Darlington. He also won the 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400 in Daytona. Those are two of the prestigious race on the calendar and he won them. Jones, is the only driver in Cup Series history to have his first two wins occur at Daytona and Darlington.
But, he’s also watched his three JGR teammates win 12 times this season alone before him making his first trip to victory lane. While he was seeing his teammates win on the regular, there was also noise that Christopher Bell was coming for his seat. See, Bell doesn’t need a third season in the XFINITY Series and JGR/Toyota didn’t want to let him go. With Busch, Hamlin and Truex already under contract for 2020, Jones was looking like the odd man out.
Despite that, he and team owner Joe Gibbs kept saying that a deal was being worked out that they just needed time to iron out all the details. So, fresh off of a win, those details are known.
Jones began his NASCAR national series career with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, earning seven victories and the 2015 championship. He moved up to the XFINITY Series with JGR for a full-time stint in 2016. Jones has recorded nine NXS wins.
“Erik has accomplished so much in our sport already and yet, he really is just at the start of a long career,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He’s been a part of Joe Gibbs Racing for almost his entire professional career and we’re excited to see what the future holds for him.”