34 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Erik Jones

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

17th Place – Erik Jones – 873 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

0.31 – Erik Jones’ average finish in 2020 was 0.31 spots better than his average in 2019 (15.94 and 16.25, respectively).  While Jones didn’t manage a win in 2020, his average finish shows a more consistent year.  Regardless, it was announced in early August of 2020 that he had been let go from his ride in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. 

 

2 Races – Over the 2020 season, only twice (Darlington 3, and the Charlotte Roval) was Erik Jones the best Joe Gibbs Racing driver.  This might not be entirely Jones’ fault, as he faced some tough competition from his 3 championship contending teammates, Hamlin, Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch (all of whom made the playoffs).  However, when looking for a weak link within the JGR team – and perhaps simultaneously a spot for Toyota up-and-comer Christopher Bell, Erik Jones may have been more obvious a choice than it initially appeared.

 

21 Lead Lap Finishes – Finishing a race on the lead lap doesn’t always necessary equate to greatness, but over the course of a whole season, it can show who is consistently in contention to win.  Erik Jones managed 21 Lead Lap Finishes over 36 races (Compare that to Kevin Harvick’s nearly inhuman and series leading 33 Lead Lap Finishes).

 

8 Drivers – Erik Jones may have missed the 2020 playoffs, but he still managed to stay at the front of the pack for a decent amount of time.  There are only 8 other drivers who managed more Top 5 finishes than Jones did.

 

147 Career Starts – Erik Jones has only 2 wins in his 147 career starts, none of which came in 2020.  That amounts to only a 1.36% winning percentage.  Since Jones is leaving JGR and moving to what is largely seen as lesser equipment in 2021, it may be even tougher for him to turn that winning percentage around. 

 

As mentioned above, Erik Jones is leaving his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota behind and will take over the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Chevy (driven by Bubba Wallace in 2020). 

 

Coming up in two days – Cole Custer

 

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