Silly Season is in full swing after both Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. signed new contracts ahead of the Ally 400 Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. Now Petty GMS Motorsports is completing its own expansion.
Erik Jones, driver of the #43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, met with NASCAR media on June 25 and updated his situation. He explained that he and the organization of the Cup Series are close to finalizing a new deal. Jones also noted that there are just a few minor things to do before putting pen to paper.
“We’re getting closer,” Jones told media at Nashville Superspeedway. “Obviously I’ve been in talks with Petty GMS for about a month now, I’m guessing at this point. Just get it done somehow. Back and forth about all the little things, right, that makes a difference. We’re going through this, but I feel like we’re getting closer.
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Jones has not met with other teams
The Michigan native is currently in his second season with Petty GMS Motorsports and he is in the mix for a playoff spot. He’s 16th in points, but there are a few riders with wins that sit below him.
Jones is below the playoff cutline, but he’s on track to double his six top-10 finishes from the 2021 season. He’s also shown speed at a variety of tracks while going head-to-head with better-funded drivers and teams, and he was within reach of a potential win at Talladega Superspeedway.
With Jones enjoying some success in 2022, it would make sense that other teams might be interested. The number 10 at Stewart-Haas Racing, for example, will need a new driver once Aric Almirola retires after the finale at Phoenix Raceway. However, Jones did not participate in any interviews.
Technically, Jones is currently unable to speak to any other team as part of his contract. Even if he could, it’s unlikely he would. Jones made it clear to media that he is pleased with Team No. 43, crew chief Dave Elenz and everyone at Petty GMS Motorsports.
Another minor GMS Motorsports driver remains a question
Jones is in the process of putting pen to paper according to his media availability, so attention now turns to his teammate. Will Ty Dillon return to GMS Racing for the 2023 season and continue racing the #42?
Speaking to NBC sportscaster Parker Kligerman during a rain delay at Nashville Superspeedway, Dillon explained that he was frustrated with his performance last season. However, he said the team is on the right track and that he knows he can win some races.
Dillon hasn’t achieved as much consistency as his teammate. He has just one top-10 finish in the 2022 season, though he’s been close to the top-15 in four other races, including an 11th place finish at the Daytona 500.
Dillon didn’t specifically address his contract situation but said he was excited about his future with the team. He is “having fun” and wants to continue growing the Petty GMS Motorsports program into something strong.
When Petty GMS Motorsports – then GMS Racing – announced that Dillon had joined as a full-time driver, there was no timetable given. The press release didn’t reveal whether Dillon had signed a one-year or multi-year contract. According to Spotrac.com, his current contract expires after the 2022 season.
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