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Monday, January 24, 2022

LFR shutting down halted Jones’ 2021 plans, hopes to sign new deal “within the next week or two”

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 09: Erik Jones, driver of the #20 Sport Clips Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway on February 09, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

As Silly Season 2020 is getting set to launch into an all-out frenzy, one driver in the mix is likely to get himself out of it very soon.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones spoke to CBS Sports’ Matthew Mayer in a recent interview, and claims that he hopes to have a deal signed for 2021 “within hopefully the next week or two.”

In addition, Jones offered some more insight into what specific team he could be landing in.

Within the same interview with Mayer, the Byron, Michigan native expressed confidence in that wherever he lands, he will have the chance to win races.

He admitted that when Leavine Family Racing was announced to shut down at the end of the season, that he was in talks with Joe Gibbs Racing about a one-year deal, and a multi-year deal was possible. The shutdown is what turned the talks around in that Christopher Bell would come to the No. 20 Camry for 2021.

Jones is one of the younger names in NASCAR looking to continue his career in the top level.

As far as where he could land – many  teams in the Cup garage have yet to announce their driver(s) or plans for 2021.

Teams such as the Wood Brothers, JTG Daughtery Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, and even Stewart-Haas Racing have yet to confirm their full driver lineup for next season.

During his tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing since 2017, Jones has seen modest success, scoring two wins at Daytona International Speedway and Darlington.

With 32 Top-5’s, and 61 Top 10’s in 139 starts, Jones qualified for the playoffs twice in three seasons, finishing 15th in 2018, and 16th in 2019. He missed the playoffs this season.


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