Joe Gibbs Racing announced Thursday that Erik Jones will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut next Saturday in the Spongebob Squarepants 400 at the Kansas Speedway. Jones will pilot the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry as Kyle Busch continues to heal after an accident at the Daytona International Speedway nearly three months ago.
“I’m pretty excited and grateful for the opportunity to drive the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series and make my debut for Joe Gibbs Racing. This is a really good opportunity for me. We are going to try to manage our expectations and if we can go out and get a top-15 run and gain some experience, that would be a great day for us. I’m also excited about representing M&M’S, a great longtime partner at JGR and such a well-known brand. I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the M&M’S Toyota at Kansas.”
In addition, Jones will sport a special M&M’s paint scheme all around the track. The paint scheme will support Red Nose Day on May 21, 2015.
Jones is currently a full-time driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the Kyle Busch Motorsports organization. In 20 career starts over the last three years, Jones has captured four victories, nine top five and 16 top 10 finishes.
In addition to starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Jones holds 11 career starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series over the last two seasons. He has one victory, five top five and eight top 10 finishes. He also holds three career poles, all coming in 2015.
The 18-year old already has Sprint Cup racing experience as he filled-in for Denny Hamlin at the Bristol Motor Speedway. However, it did not count as his debut because Hamlin took the green flag before rain delayed the event. Jones carried the FedEx Toyota to a finish of 26th.