Erik Jones has "a lot of unfinished business" in NASCAR

Erik Jones is in an unfamiliar position these days trying to nail down a ride with a new NASCAR Cup Series team.

Erik Jones has "a lot of unfinished business" in NASCAR
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Toyota Camry
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Craftsman
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry STANLEY
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com Celebrates his win
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com Celebrates his win
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com Celebrates his win

For virtually all of Jones’ career competing in NASCAR’s three national series – Trucks, Xfinity and Cup – Jones has had a secure job and he had to worry little about dealing with the prospects of leaving Joe Gibbs Racing.

Last year was the first in Cup where Jones signed a contract extension not longer than year which put him back in the process this year of trying to secure another.

Instead, JGR decided not to retain Jones and will move upstart Christopher Bell into Jones’ No. 20 Toyota team next season. Jones, 24, is now discovering the workings of the free agent world.

Read Also:

“It’s been pretty interesting and it’s been a pretty big learning experience for me,” Jones said Tuesday in an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I’ve been fortunate over the last seven years now to really have a place to be a racing home pretty secure early on in a season and not really ever have to worry about this.

“It’s a new experience for me. I’ve never honestly in my career in NASCAR other than initially getting into the Truck series had to go out and sit down and talk to prospective teams and owners and have to go out and meet new sponsors.

“That stuff is all starting to happen here as we’re going forward. There’s a few opportunities that we’re pursuing right now and trying to find something to lock down for next year. It’s a different world for me.”

Jones has a pretty strong resume behind him.

He has 134 starts in the Cup series – all with JGR – and owns a pair of victories, winning the summer race at Daytona in 2018 and the prestigious Southern 500 at Darlington last season.

So far in 2020, Jones began the year with a victory in the non-points Busch Clash and has five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 23 races. He is currently 16th in the series standings and sitting just outside the 16-driver playoff field.

Jones won a Truck Series championship in 2015, and finished fourth in the Xfinity Series standings and earned rookie of the year honors in 2016 in his only full-time season in that series ahead of his move to Cup.

Unfinished business 

While Jones said searching for a new home “takes up a lot of time” he remains committed to finishing out the 2020 season as strong as possible.

“I’ve not given up on JGR at all,” he said. “We still want to get in the playoffs and make a run. So, there’s still a lot of work to be done there.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m doing the things I need to do to continue to build in the Cup Series. I think there’s a lot of unfinished business for me. There’s still a lot of things I want to accomplish in the Cup Series.

“In a way it’s unfortunate. I had a good home at JGR and was happy there but it’s also exciting. There are new opportunities out there and things that we can put together to get a fresh start. Not that I was looking for one in any way.

“I feel confident we’re going to be able to put something together.”

shares
comments
Daytona RC race was "heck of a show" that could return in 2021
Previous article

Daytona RC race was "heck of a show" that could return in 2021

Next article

Roush Fenway's Jack Roush says pandemic "has really hit us hard"

Roush Fenway's Jack Roush says pandemic "has really hit us hard"
Load comments
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021