Just mere days after Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth said to reporters that he didn’t know where he would drive in 2018, JGR put some rumours to rest. On July 11th, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 2015 Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones would be replacing Matt Kenseth in the iconic #20 car.
Erik Jones to Drive the #20 in 2018
Jones who was runner up in the Xfinity Series standings last year, made the jump to the Cup series this season in the #77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. In his rookie season so far, Jones has tallied five top ten finishes, including a season-best third-place finish at Pocono. Jones also has eight Xfinity Series wins to add on to his success.
Joe Gibbs told NASCAR.com in an interview that, “…at the same time it’s exciting to have Erik back to run full time with us starting next season. When a number of circumstances made it clear over the past few weeks that a second year for the 77 car was probably not viable at this time for Erik, we all agreed that we wanted to keep him in the Toyota racing family and felt it was the right time to make this transition. He is an exciting driver that has already proven to have the ability to compete at the highest level of our sport. He is also shown to be a great representative to our partners and we believe he is at the beginning of a long and successful career.”
It is unclear if current sponsor Five-Hour Energy will follow Jones over to JGR, or how long his contract will be. There is also no word on the replacement driver of the #77 or where Matt Kenseth is expected to end up next season.
All of this will is to come out at a later date. This story will be updated when more news is released.