This year hasn’t been what Brandon Jones has wanted at Joe Gibbs Racing, but he expects to be back with the team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020.
Plagued by back luck, Jones sits 11th in the championship standings heading into Saturday’s race (Sept. 7) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The No. 19 team has led 82 laps in 2019, the second most of Jones’ career for a single season, but has tied a career-high in DNFs at seven.
Regardless, the Georgia native believes he will return to JGR for a third season next year.
“As far as I know,” Jones told Frontstretch. “There hasn’t been much discussion on it. It’s getting close to that time of the year where we start talking about it. As far as I know I am.”
Jones said that though there hasn’t been much talk about an extension at this point, he’s not worried.
“Not really. I have a lot of confidence in everyone that works behind me to try to get me back here,” Jones said. “I need some consistency in my career. I’ve been on a lot of great teams, but it’s good to stay with one for a while and get connected with a crew chief, too.”
Last year, Jones worked with crew chief Chris Gabehart, who has led Denny Hamlin to four victories this season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Currently, the No. 19 team is led by Jeff Meendering, who went to to the Xfinity Series Championship 4 last season with Cole Custer.
As for 2019 and the postseason, Jones said it’s been a tough year, though the team has had speed.
“It’s frustrating, but there’s a lot of speed involved in there, too,” he added. “We’ve just been going back and forth and looking at whenever we have a blow motor, blown tire, we were running [inside the] top five. That’s the positive out of all the negatives. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing.
“The speed is there, and I think if we continue to do what we’ve been doing we’ll be right there.”
Last season, Jones was bounced in the second round of the playoffs, finishing the year ninth in points.