UPDATE: Erik Jones announced Sunday from Michigan International Speedway that he will return to Richard Petty Motorsports for a second season, driving the No. 43 Chevrolet in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series.
Jones, 25, is in his fifth full season of Cup Series competition. He joined the Richard Petty-owned team in 2021 after eight years with Joe Gibbs Racing and its affiliated teams across all three national series.
— NASCAR.com —
AND: From Jone’s media availability Sunday morning at Michigan:
HAVE ANY DECISIONS BEEN MADE WITH RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS FOR NEXT YEAR?
“Actually, yes. I can officially announce that we have put pen to paper and that I’ll be back in the No. 43 next year. That was literally done yesterday while I was out doing some stuff. It’s cool to have it done. I’m just happy to have it done at this point in the season and to be able to focus not only on the rest of this year but work on getting next year settled in with a new car and everything going on there. So yeah, I’m happy we can finally say it and get it out there. We’ve been really close on everything the last couple of weeks and just finished everything up.”
— Team Chevy —
UPDATE 8-15-2021: Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass reports that Erik Jones feels that a deal to remain with Richard Petty Motorsports next season is close to begin finalized.
Erik Jones said he feels things are close to being done for him to remain at RPM. He has said that before and ended up seeing a deal not get done, so he wouldn’t say it without feeling good about it getting done.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 15, 2021
ORIGINAL POST 7-27-2021: Erik Jones is no stranger to the silly season roulette wheel, and as was the case last season, it was simply important to have any quality ride once the music stops.
The 25-year-old landed at Richard Petty Motorsports over the winter after Bubba Wallace departed for 23XI Racing but was only a free agent because he was replaced by Christopher Bell at Joe Gibbs Racing after the closure of Leavine Family Racing.
“I hope to return with Petty,” Jones told Autoweek over the weekend. “We’ve talked about next season obviously with everything that has to be in place, but we haven’t got too deep yet. I want to be in the Cup Series, and they want to continue being there too. With the Next Gen car, where I’m at now with Petty, it’s a good opportunity to improve our standing.
“I hope to get that done soon. Waiting to see where they’re at and see what we can do for next year.”
Richard Petty Motorsports has had conversations with other manufacturers to see if there is a better deal than what it stands to have with Chevrolet, but the general industry consensus is that it will retain the status quo for now.
See more at Autoweek.