Another silly season domino has fallen, as Erik Jones announced that he will return to Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 NASCAR Cup Series team for the 2022 season, during a media availability on Sunday morning.
“I can officially announce that we have put pen to paper and that I’ll be back in the No. 43 next year,” Jones said in the media availability. “That was literally done yesterday while I was out doing some stuff. It’s cool to have it done. I’m just happy to have it done at this point in the season and to be able to focus not only on the rest of this year but work on getting next year settled in with a new car and everything going on there. So yeah, I’m happy we can finally say it and get it out there. We’ve been really close on everything the last couple of weeks and just finished everything up.”
For Jones, with the upcoming Next Gen car in 2022, he felt the decision to have continuity was important.
“But for me, just going into next year with a new car, I wanted to be able to stay with the same group, the same group of guys that I’ve worked with already and feel comfortable going into a new situation with,” Jones explained. “Moving teams again wasn’t really enticing in working with a new group and just starting over again. I just want to be with the same group and the same guys and just continue to build and work. I think just having a year under our belts together is going to bode well for next season with a new car and being able to start there, obviously from scratch with the car, but not necessarily from scratch with the team.”
In celebration of the announcement, RPM posted a spiffy graphic to their twitter feed:
— Richard Petty Motorsports (@RPMotorsports) August 22, 2021
In his first season with RPM, Jones has three top-10 finishes through 24 races in 2021, and he ranks 25th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings. Jones’ best finish of the year came last week with a seventh-place effort at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Jones, 25, has two-career NCS victories, which came in 2018 and 2019.
The Byron, Michigan-native could make the Playoffs if he is able to secure a win this weekend at Michigan International Speedway — his hometrack — or next weekend at Daytona International Speedway — the site of his first-career NASCAR Cup Series win.
To see what drivers and teams have been confirmed for next season, here is the TobyChristie.com 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Driver / Team Chart:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.