By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Erik Jones has called the No. 20 team at Joe Gibbs Racing home for the past two seasons and heading into the 2020 season, he will continue to occupy that seat as the team announced a contract extension for the 23-year old on Friday.
“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.”
After winning a championship in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2015, followed by a fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points the following season, Jones made the move to full-time racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017.
Following a one-year stopover at Furniture Row Racing, Jones moved to the No. 20 team at JGR last season, breaking through for his first career win at Daytona in July 2018. Jones added a second career win last weekend at Darlington in the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
In addition to his two wins, Jones has also scored 23 top-five finishes, 45 top-10 finishes, and two poles in 100 Cup Series starts. For the second year in a row, Jones will be one of the 16 drivers battling it out for a championship when the Playoffs begin next week in Las Vegas.
“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.”
“All of us at Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) are thrilled to have Erik extend his relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 20 Camry,” added David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A. “Erik has been a part of the family since 2013 and we’ve been fortunate to see him advance and develop as a race car driver and a person. From a Truck Series champion to a Playoff contender and race winner in the Cup Series, we’re honored to be a part of his journey. Without a doubt, we know his recent Cup Series success is just the beginning of what is sure to be many more wins and championship-contending seasons to come.”
With the contract extension for Jones, the lineup for JGR is now complete with Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex, Jr. rounding out the team’s four car stable.