The plans for NASCAR teams for the 2021 season are starting to become more clearer as the 2020 season continues to roll on.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s plans will become official in the coming days but according to Fox Sports and the Sports Business Journal, Erik Jones will not return in the 20 car for the 2020 season and will likely be replaced by Christopher Bell who is currently with Leavine Family Racing in the 95 car.
Jones has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since 2015 and has had success in the Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and the Cup Series but Bell is the more promising prospect among the two which is why Gibbs is leaning in that direction.
It’s unfortunate because Jones is still only 24 years old and does have talent to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series but when teams can only field a maximum of four cars, it becomes an unfortunate numbers game and when Joe Gibbs Racing has Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. who are all championship contenders, Jones is ultimately the odd man out.
Jones has won two races (2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona and the 2019 Southern 500 at Darlington) and posted 57 top-ten finishes and also made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Christopher Bell has posted five top-ten finishes this season and is in a tight Rookie of the Year battle with Cole Custer, and Tyler Reddick. Bell has won 16 races in the Xfinity Series and also won the 2017 Truck Series championship.