We’re set to see a lot more of Erik Jones in the near-future.
The 18-year-old, who has ran part-time programs the last two seasons for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will drive full-time for KBM next year. Additionally, Jones will also run a part-time NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I feel like my success at KBM the last two seasons has opened the door to this opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series and I’m grateful for what everyone at Toyota, KBM and JGR has done to help make this possible,” Jones said in a statement.
“JGR has collected 100 wins in the series and I’m ready to take what I’ve learned in just a handful of races this year and be able to go out next year and help them bring home more victories.
“When you add the experience I will gain in the XFINITY Series to the 23-race Truck Series schedule, I’ll be gaining valuable seat time in the best equipment as I continue to climb the ladder in NASCAR and I couldn’t be more thankful to be where I am so early in my career.”
Lots of information regarding both of Jones’ efforts – a truck number and sponsor in the Truck Series, plus total number of races, crew chief, car number and sponsors in the XFINITY Series – will be announced later.
But what we do know is that Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will serve as crew chief for Jones in the Trucks. Fugle currently works as a race engineer, but last year, he was the CC for KBM’s No. 51 team in its run to the series’ owner’s championship and for Jones’ first series win last fall at Phoenix International Raceway (which made Jones the youngest NASCAR national series event winner ever).
“Rudy and I have developed a great relationship the last few years and we’re going to have a quality team with a lot of familiar faces around us,” Jones added. “I’m confident that I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned running a part-time schedule the last two seasons and be able to go out and challenge for wins week in and week out and be a contender for the [Truck Series] championship next season.”
Jones has done well in his part-time role for KBM with three wins (including one this year at Las Vegas), six Top-5s, and 12 Top-10s in 20 Truck Series starts across 2013 and 2014. He’s also made a pair of Nationwide Series starts this year for JGR, finishing seventh at Chicago and eighth at Bristol.
This weekend at Phoenix, Jones will take part in both of those series. He’ll drive KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra in the Truck Series race Friday night, then drive the No. 20 JGR Toyota Camry in Saturday’s 200-miler for the Nationwide Series.