The driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is on a mission to benefit others. Erik Jones has announced the creation of his charitable organization, the Erik Jones Foundation, which will focus on three primary factors — igniting children’s passion for reading, encouraging early cancer detection and care, and promoting animal welfare.
The NASCAR Cup Series driver announced the launch of the foundation during the Back to the Bricks event in Flint, Mich., on Friday, Aug. 20. He kicked off the launch of the foundation with a donation to Genesee District Library, a public library system serving the residents of Genesee County, Mich. Jones also spent time prior to the race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 22, reading to kids and their families at the Graves Family Campground.
“I’ve gotten to live my dream, being a race car driver,” Jones told reporter Kim Coon on Sunday, Aug. 22. “It’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, and that obviously leaves its own legacy in its own right. There’s more to it, there’s more to life and more that I want to be about than just being a race car driver. That was really the beginning of the roots of the Erik Jones Foundation and kind of where I wanted to go with it.”
There Is a Reason for the 3 Pillars of the Foundation
While the Erik Jones Foundation has three seemingly different pillars, Jones has a reason for bringing them together. He explained in a press release how igniting children’s passion for reading, encouraging early cancer detection and care, and promoting animal welfare all tie together.
Jones has put an emphasis on cancer detection and care after his father passed away in 2016. Four years later, he began sharing his love of reading with his followers on social media by creating his Read With Erik series.
“The experiences I’ve had growing up shaped what my Foundation is about,” Jones said in a press release. “I really enjoy reading, but with all the technology kids have available to them today, the joy of just sitting down with a good book is getting lost. I want to change that. Obviously, losing my dad to cancer was hard – and it still is – but it’s made me so mindful of how important early detection is, because the sooner you diagnose it, the more options you have for treatment. And I do love animals, and all the pets I’ve had meant a lot to me. I want to do what I can to ensure they’re enjoying healthy and happy lives, too.
“These three aspects of my Foundation might seem different, but they all came together when my dad was battling cancer. Getting lost in a book and having a pet who seemed to understand what you were going through was like therapy. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, and I’m lucky enough to be in a position in my life where I can help others. That’s what my Foundation is about.”
Jones Launched the Foundation Before Signing a Contract
The driver of the No. 43 kicked off his race weekend by launching a charitable foundation, and then he continued to drop big news. Jones also revealed on Sunday, Aug. 22, his plans for the 2022 season.
Prior to the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Jones announced that he will return to the No. 43 for another season of Cup Series action. He and Richard Petty Motorsports will pursue wins while testing out the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro.
The 25-year-old had long expressed optimism about potentially returning to RPM for another year, but he did not actually sign a deal prior to the trip to his home state. Jones actually told reporters that everything came together while he was out and about in Michigan. Now he will be able to focus on the rest of the 2021 season with the knowledge that he has a secure future in the Cup Series.