Last Sunday at Watkins Glen International, Furniture Row Racing announced that Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Erik Jones would be racing full-time for the team next season in the Sprint Cup Series.
But for how long?
Barney Visser, owner of Furniture Row Racing, confirmed on Wednesday evening that he is “fairly certain” that Jones will only be on the team for the 2017 season, his rookie campaign. On SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Dialed In he admitted that it would he “hopes” to have the driver for more than one year, but he’s not expecting much.
Regardless of Jones’ future plans with JGR, though, there will be a second Furniture Row Racing car for the foreseeable future, said Visser.
“If we don’t have him, we will have somebody else,” Visser said on the show. “With how we’re running, we will get a very, very good driver after he leaves, if he leaves, and I’m fairly certain he will. We will attract one of the best drivers in the garage for that second slot I am confident. The cars are just going to be running too well. The first car is running too well. It all builds on itself. It all kind of snowballs in the right direction.”
With Denny Hamlin‘s win last week at the Glen, every JGR driver has at least two victories on the season. In 2015, it took until the first race of the Chase at Chicago before the team had that feat.
Jones is almost certain to end up driving for the Coach in the next few years, and Visser is aware.
“I think probably so,” Visser said on if Jones will leave after 2017. “I think that’s most likely. We’re working on that. What I am saying is the team will go on no matter what and people need to understand that when they come looking for jobs.”
This season the 2015 Camping World Truck Series champion is competing in his rookie season in the XFINITY Series. Jones has three victories on the season, the most recent coming at Iowa Speedway at the end of July. He’s led 364 laps on the season, the most of any XFINITY Series regular, as he gears toward the Chase.
About the author
Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2020 marks his sixth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.
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