Rumors and speculation put Erik Jones in a full-time Cup ride for 2017. Furniture Row Racing confirmed that Jones will be driving a second entry for the Colorado-based team starting next year.
FRR made the announcement this morning, adding that 5-hour Energy will be the primary sponsor on Jones’ Camry for 22 races, launching the Cup Series rookie campaign for the 20-year-old driver. 5-hour Energy has had a long-standing relationship with Clint Bowyer. Speculation is that with Bowyer going to Stewart-Haas Racing, who already has a relationship with Monster Energy drinks, the conflict made 5-Hour Energy seek a new driver to back.
“We take our NASCAR sponsorship very seriously as this is a major financial commitment, so we looked at several options for the 2017 season and beyond,” said Rise’ Meguiar, vice president of Living Essentials, parent company of 5-hour ENERGY. “The combination of a young incredibly talented driver, the success Toyota has had with all of its teams at Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row and the way Martin has been running in the No. 78, we just felt this opportunity met our company’s objectives the best. Erik has earned the hype around him and we are proud to be a part of introducing him nationally with commercials, in-store displays and promotions. This is a really exciting opportunity for 5-hour ENERGY.”
“I just can’t believe this is really happening,” said Jones, who will run the full Cup schedule in 2017. “We have been talking about Cup racing for a while, but to actually make the announcement is surreal. This is every young driver’s dream, to be with a manufacturer like Toyota, an organization like Furniture Row with its successful technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and an incredible sponsor like 5-hour ENERGY who is so well known for promoting its racing program. They have given me a life-changing opportunity and my mission is to make each of them proud.”
Source: Furniture Row Racing – Furniture Row Racing to Field Second Cup Camry Erik Jones, 5-Hour Energy