Jones to Drive No. 20 at JGR in 2018

Erik Jones

Jones is currently in his rookie campaign with Furniture Row Racing and is 14th in the series point standings heading into this weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that driver Erik Jones will drive the No. 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camry for the organization beginning in 2018. 

Matt Kenseth, who currently pilots the No. 20 Toyota Camry for JGR, will not return to the organization following the 2017 season. 

“Matt (Kenseth) has been a tremendous asset to our organization over the past five seasons both on and off the track,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He’s been a great teammate and a great ambassador for our sponsors. We have a great deal of respect for him and we are working hard to get the 20 team into the playoffs to make a run for the championship. We have a great deal of confidence in his abilities to do just that.

“At the same time it’s exciting to have Erik back to run fulltime 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.”

Currently competing full time in the NASCAR Cup Series for Furniture Row Racing, Jones sits 14th in the point standings and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings. Jones made his Cup Series debut in 2015 filling in for the injured Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway where he led one lap before a mid-race accident derailed a strong finish in his first-career start. With 21 Cup Series career starts, Jones has led 32 laps and earned one top-five finish and five top-10 finishes.

Jones, who has scored eight XFINITY Series wins with JGR, is currently in his rookie campaign with Furniture Row Racing and is 14th in the series point standings heading into this weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“This is a really exciting time in my career for me to make the move back to Joe Gibbs Racing full time in the Cup Series and continue to have the success I’ve had with them over the last few years," Jones said. "I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me by Barney Visser and everyone at Furniture Row Racing this year for my first full year in the Cup Series.

"We’ve hit our stride the last few weeks with strong finishes and while it’s nice to have my plans for 2018 announced, I’m focused on continuing to improve and get this team a win before the season ends."

Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser issued the following statement:

"Regarding today's announcement that Erik Jones will drive in the NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2018, Furniture Row Racing's commitment to Jones and the No. 77 team remains the same for the remainder of the season. Our goal is for Jones to qualify for the playoffs, make a run for the championship and capture Rookie of the Year honors.

"We are working on our team plans for 2018 but don't have anything concrete to report at this time except that Martin Truex Jr. will continue to drive the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota."

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