Erik Jones moving to Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021
Erik Jones will take over the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports ride next season, the team announced Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Jones replaces Bubba Wallace, who will drive for the new Cup team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin next season.
Jones has signed a multi-year agreement with Richard Petty Motorsports, the team stated.
“Erik is an exceptionally talented driver, and we are excited to have him join our team,” Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer at Richard Petty Motorsports, said in a statement. “At only 24-years old, Erik is part of NASCAR’s next generation of stars. He has won races at every level in NASCAR he has competed in – including in the NASCAR Cup Series. Erik is a proven winner and we look forward to providing him with the opportunity to add more wins to this already impressive resume.”
The move marks Jones’ first time in NASCAR with a manufacturer other than Toyota. RPM is a Chevrolet teatm. Jones came up through Toyota’s driver development program, making his Truck debut in 2013 for Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota.
Jones ran a partial Truck schedule with the team in 2014 and moved to a full-time Truck schedule in 2015. He also drove a majority of the Xfinity races in 2015 for Joe Gibbs Racing and had been there since.
Jones was left out of a ride after this season when Leavine Family Racing was sold to Spire Motorsports. That meant that Toyota development driver Christopher Bell, who had been loaned to Leavine, was brought back to take Jones’ spot at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Jones has two wins in 144 career Cup starts heading into Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
“It is an incredible honor to have Richard Petty want you to drive for his race team and with the car number he made famous,” Jones said in a statement from the team. “Richard Petty Motorsports has a rich history in the sport, but they are not resting on that history. They still have something to prove, and I have something to prove. We are both motivated to write a new chapter. I am proud to be a part of Richard Petty Motorsports.”
Jerry Baxter will remain the crew chief for the No. 43 team.