Richard Petty Motorsports driver Erik Jones is heading back to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the first time since 2019. He will partner with Jordan Anderson Racing and climb into the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro for a race at Watkins Glen International.
JAR issued a release on Monday, Aug. 2, and confirmed that Jones will work with partner Bommarito Automotive Group for the race on Aug. 7. He will become the latest driver to climb into the No. 31 and compete for a top-10 finish, joining owner Jordan Anderson, Josh Berry, Tyler Reddick, and Kaz Grala.
“Total respect to the entire No. 31 team and everyone at the Bommarito Automotive Group, and Chevrolet for what they have been able to accomplish with this organization in such a short amount of time. It has been so cool to watch from the outside.” Jones said in a statement from Jordan Anderson Racing.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to join a JAR line-up of some very talented drivers. It will be great to return to the Xfinity Series behind the wheel of the No. 31 Camaro at Watkins Glen. With my past experience there I am hopeful we will be able to garner a great finish.”
Jones Has a History of Success in the Xfinity Series
The Richard Petty Motorsports driver has not competed in the Xfinity Series since a lone start in 2019 at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, he will likely follow a trend set by other drivers with JAR and race near the front of the pack due to his past success.
Jones spent the first four years of his Xfinity career with Joe Gibbs Racing and drove the No. 20 Toyota now occupied by Harrison Burton. He only started one full season (2016) for the team but racked up a total of nine trips to Victory Lane. His list of accolades includes a season in which he won three of the 18 races that he started.
2016 stands alone as the best Xfinity Series season of his career. Jones started all 33 races, winning four times, and posted a total of 15 top-five finishes. Though Jones finished fourth in the final standings despite having the most wins in the series. Daniel Suarez captured the title after winning the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway while Jones finished ninth.
The No. 31 Has Come Close to Wins in 2021
For a first-year team that missed the first 10 races of the season, JAR has exceeded expectations. The team has used four drivers so far to compete at road courses and on traditional ovals, locking up four top-10 finishes and one top five.
Tyler Reddick has performed the best behind the wheel of the No. 31 JAR Chevrolet Camaro. He finished eighth during the first-ever NASCAR weekend at Circuit of the Americas on May 22. He then locked up fifth at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Josh Berry, on the other hand, has made three starts for the team. He took eighth at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and ninth at Pocono Raceway. His most recent outing for the team — Atlanta Motor Speedway — was his worst performance. Berry started 28th and finished 23rd while Kyle Busch locked up the win.
“Erik is a very talented driver and one that can immediately jump in and make a positive impact – bringing a wealth of knowledge and depth to the team,” Anderson added in a statement from JAR.
“To have another Cup driver, who has been successful at every level he has been in, get behind the wheel of one our JAR racecars will help us continue to build our program for the future. My first full season competing in the Truck Series was Erik’s first full season as well, as he went on to win the Championship that year, so it is pretty exciting to see things come full circle for us to have the opportunity to work together.”