By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
It’s official. Erik Jones will drive the iconic No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the NASCAR Cup Series for Richard Petty Motorsports beginning in 2021.
The deal announced on Wednesday morning will see 24-year old Jones with the team on a multi-year deal.
“Erik is an exceptionally talented driver, and we are excited to have him join our team,” Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer at Richard Petty Motorsports, said. “At only 24-years old, Erik is part of NASCAR’s next generation of stars. He has won races at every level in NASCAR he has competed in – including in the NASCAR Cup Series. Erik is a proven winner, and we look forward to providing him with the opportunity to add more wins to this already impressive resume.”
Jones who currently pilots the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is in his fourth full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Thus far he has earned two wins, 33 top-five finishes, 62 top-10 finishes and 645 laps lead in 144 starts.
Jones first NASCAR Cup Series trip to victory lane came on July 7, 2018 at Daytona International Speedway, while his second win came at Darlington Raceway on September 1, 2019 in the historic Southern 500.
Jones who has spent the last three seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing will now begin to write his own chapter driving the ironic No. 43 that saw Richard Petty collect 200 premier series wins.
“It is an incredible honor to have Richard Petty want you to drive for his race team and with the car number he made famous,” Jones said. “Richard Petty Motorsports has a rich history in the sport, but they are not resting on that history. They still have something to prove, and I have something to prove. We are both motivated to write a new chapter. I am proud to be a part of Richard Petty Motorsports.”
Crew Chief Jerry Baxter will remain with the organization and lead Jones and the No. 43 from atop the pit box. Jones and Baxter have worked together previously as they worked together at Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for three seasons.
Ready to write the next chapter. pic.twitter.com/KetRCJ1fLo
— Erik Jones (@Erik_Jones) October 21, 2020
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo