According to two separate reports — one from Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports and another from Jordan Bianchi of the Athletic — citing numerous sources, Erik Jones will be back in the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2020.
Sources: Erik Jones has an agreement in principle to a 1-year extension to stay in the No. 20 car at Joe Gibbs Racing. It is not yet signed. JGR says no comment, no announcement planned. LFR also no comment on 2020 driver (Christopher Bell expected in 95). #nascar @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 15, 2019
According to the report from Bianchi, Christopher Bell — as expected — will take over the No. 95 car at Leavine Family Racing which was vacated when the team opted not to extend the contract of Matt DiBenedetto.
.@CBellRacing‘s NASCAR Cup Series debut will come with @LFR95, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticAUTO‘s @Jordan_Bianchi. The move is tied to @erik_jones‘ decision with @JoeGibbsRacing‘s 20 car.
— The Athletic Motorsports (@TheAthleticAUTO) August 15, 2019
According to Pockrass, Joe Gibbs Racing refuses to comment on the situation and says they do not have any announcements scheduled.
Jones was rumored to possibly be on his way out of JGR’s No. 20 car when he had dropped to 18th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings following the Michigan race in June. Since then, Jones has scored six top-10 finishes in eight races, including four-consecutive top-four finishes at Kentucky, New Hampshire, Pocono and Watkins Glen.
Now, Jones sits 14th in the standings and comfortably in Playoff contention.
Bell has been one of the hottest up and coming commodities of the past couple of seasons. With JGR’s team fully booked with four drivers, it was looking like the organization would have to boot one of their current drivers or face losing potentially their biggest star since Kyle Busch arrived in 2008.
However, LFR — who has a technical alliance with JGR — moved on from their driver this week, which paved the path to the Cup Series for Bell.