Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Erik Jones Carrying Father’s Name on Car at Kansas Thanks to Facebook Group Forty Three

Erik Jones will have his father’s name on his driver side name rail on the No. 43 car at Kansas, as a Facebook group raised funds to make it happen. Screengrab from Richard Petty Motorsports Instagram.

Erik Jones will have his father’s name riding on the name rail of his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro this weekend in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Jones’ father Dave Jones passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer at the age of 53. This weekend, NASCAR teams will carry the name of a Cancer Hero on each car.

The name rails were auctioned with proceeds going to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. This is where a Facebook Group named Forty Three comes into play in this story. The group of passionate Richard Petty Motorsports fans banded together to raise the funds to not only secure Jones’ father’s name on the No. 43 car this weekend, but the group also raised excess funds, which will be distributed to other charities in honor of Dave Jones.

The group’s admin, Bryan Snare shared a letter that the group sent to Jones following news that they had won the bid for the Cancer Hero name rail for the No. 43 car at Kansas.

In all, the Facebook group raised $2,598, $710 of which will go to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation in the auction for the name rail. The group will send $445 to the Victory Junction Camp and will have a special etched brick honoring Jones’ father added to the fan walk portion of the camp.

The brick will have a special outline etching of Dave Jones’ beloved Chevrolet Corvette with the inscription “In Memory of ‘Papa Bear’ Dave Jones, 1962-2016.”

A rendering of the brick that the Forty Three Facebook group will have made for the Victory Junction camp in honor of Dave Jones.

The final $1,443 that was raised will be sent directly to the Erik Jones Foundation, which Jones created this year.

The Erik Jones Foundation mission statement reads:

“The Erik Jones Foundation changes lives by igniting children’s passion for reading, encouraging early cancer detection and care and promoting animal welfare.”

The group also posted a note in their letter stating that they truly believe Jones will be the driver to return their favorite car — the iconic No. 43 machine — back to victory lane.

“We cannot wait to see you drive that special No. 43 back into victory lane. We know you’re the guy who is gonna do it. Until then, know that we are proud, we are loyal, and we are many. Let’s go Erik Jones and that special No. 43!”

Jones shared a shot of his father’s name above his door on the Kansas car as well as the letter from the Facebook group to his twitter account on Thursday:

This is not the first time the Forty Three Facebook group has come together to raise funds for a good cause relating to the No. 43 team. Last season, the group raised funds for the Victory Junction camp and got a special #WeStandWithBubba decal on the car at Kansas Speedway.

Forty Three, a Facebook Fan Group, Raises Money For Victory Junction, Will Be Featured on No. 43 Car at Kansas

While a lot of people focus on the hate spewed across social media, the Forty Three Facebook group has become a great reminder that kindness does exist even in social media.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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