Erik Jones
25-Year-Old Driver  
Richard Petty Motorsports
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Jones was one of the big losers in terms of free agency moves last season. Joe Gibbs Racing did not renew his contract to drive the team's No. 20 Toyota in favor of the incoming Christopher Bell, and the young driver was forced into free agency. Richard Petty Motorsports didn't waste any time snapping Jones up. He has 147 starts of Cup Series experience and is still a tender 24-years-old. That was an easy decision for RPM, but probably not the choicest of rides if you're Jones. However, he will have to forge forward in what will clearly be a downgrade from his prior team. Jones' nine Top-5 and 13 Top-10 finishes of last season are lofty numbers to aspire to in the No. 43 Chevrolet team. It's more likely that he and crew chief Jerry Baxter in season 1 will work on communication and developing driver/crew chief chemistry. Seven-to-eight Top 10s is likely the high water mark for this driver and team in 2021. Read Past Outlooks
Returning to Richard Petty
August 22, 2021
Jones announced Sunday from Michigan International Speedway that he will return to Richard Petty Motorsports for a second season, driving the No. 43 Chevrolet in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, reports.
Jones is drawing to a close of his first season with Richard Petty Motorsports. The young driver is coming off his third Top-10 finish of the season last week at Indianapolis. The No. 43 team have come to terms with Jones and he'll return in 2022 to the seat of the team's Chevrolet. Jones will look to challenge the Top 20 in the driver point standings in season two with this race team.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Jones was on track for a career-best campaign in 2019, but a late-season cold spell would put a damper on his numbers and eliminate him from the first round of the Chase. The Joe Gibbs Racing youngster will look to make up for that in the upcoming season. Jones grabbed his second-career victory last year with his big win at Darlington, and he ripped off a strong four-race Top-5 streak during the midsummer. That glimpse of Jones' potential teases what he could do in 2020. The No. 20 Toyota team ended last season on a good note with a three-race Top-10 streak, including an impressive third-place finish in the season finale at Homestead. Jones and crew chief, Chris Gayle, will look to hit the ground running at Daytona in February. The upcoming campaign could hold the first multi-win season for Jones, and breaking the 20 Top-10 plateau for the first time in his career.
The young Joe Gibbs Racing driver had a tremendous sophomore campaign in the No. 20 Toyota last year, but it could be that the upcoming season is the breakout year. Jones grabbed his first-career win with his July Daytona victory and he posted nine Top-5 and 18 Top-10 finishes. Those were great numbers and good improvement over the prior season for sure. The early, first round Chase elimination was somewhat disappointing, but it was a good effort for the 22-year-old driver to build on this season. There are no changes to the team for this year, so continuity and chemistry should continue to build and pay off. Jones should scratch the win column again in 2019, and we should see even higher Top-5 and Top-10 totals as this driver and team continue to improve. His preseason #11 ranking could be considered conservative in some ways.
Last season's rookie of the year makes a step into a new race team in 2018. Jones will take over the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Matt Kenseth spent the last several seasons racing. The 21-year-old driver made a big splash last year with five Top-5 and 14 Top-10 finishes. Jones flirted with victory on a couple occasions with strong outings at Bristol, Michigan and Pocono. He showed that he could not only hold his own with the best in the series, but he could lead lots of laps and challenge for wins. With the move to the No. 20 Toyota team even more resources will be at Jones disposal. He'll continue to be paired with crew chief Chris Gayle, and that continuity will be key to his success. Jones has a tremendous opportunity to outperform anyone's expectations in the upcoming season.
The 20-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing prodigy has spent the last four seasons carving up both the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series. Over that span he's won one championship (trucks) and 13-combined victories. Jones' 74-combined Top-10 finishes in 100 starts between the two series speaks volumes of his abilities. Now he'll get his first full-time shot at NASCAR's top division. Joe Gibbs Racing affiliate team, Furniture Row Racing, has expanded to two teams in 2017. That will make room to put Jones in a strong Toyota Camry. He will be paired with crew chief Chris Gayle and the two will be top contenders to win this season's Rookie of the Year honors. Jones is incredibly talented, but he will face a bit of a learning curve in the Monster Energy Cup Series cars due to his lack of experience at this level, only three career starts.
The Joe Gibbs Racing wunderkind is poised for a championship run in this series in 2016. Jones nabbed the Camping World Truck Series crown last year and piled up five-combined victories between Xfinity and the truck series in 2015. He’ll take over the No. 20 Toyota full-time, which was raced by a multi-driver lineup last season. Jones made just 23 starts last season for this team and the No. 54 JGR team and compiled some impressive numbers. He raked in 13 Top-5 and 17 Top-10 finishes in addition to his two wins. When projected over a full season, it indicates Jones will be one of the top contenders to win the Xfinity Series championship this year.
More Fantasy News
Will compete in Xfinity Series race
August 2, 2021
Jones will take part in the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen for Jordan Anderson Racing.
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Hopes for Richard Petty Return
July 27, 2021
Jones recently spoke with Autoweek and indicated he would like to return to Richard Petty Motorsports next season.
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Starting from rear
June 20, 2021
Jones will start from the rear in Sunday's race at Nashville, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reports.
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Starting from rear Sunday
May 23, 2021
Jones is starting from the rear for Sunday's Cup Series race at COTA for unapproved adjustments with his No. 43 Chevrolet, Jim Utter of reports.
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Starting from rear Sunday
May 2, 2021
Jones will begin Sunday's Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway from the rear after failing multiple tech inspections with his No. 43 Chevrolet, Bob reports.
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