Erik Jones is settled in with Richard Petty Motorsports. As the 2021 season comes to an end, Jones is hyped for the Next Gen car, which he believes can be a game changer for this small team.
With a plan in place, the two-time Cup Series winner wants to bring car No. 43 back in Victory Lane. If he can do it, it will set a whole new standard for RPM.
BY JOSEPH WOLKIN, @JoeWolkin
“It’s been good. We’ve had good and bad days like any team. Overall, the good days have outweighed the bad. It’s been a challenging year in some ways with not having practice and coming in as a new driver with them this year. I’m trying to learn and make the car better. But when you’re starting a race and you’re not where you need to be, it’s hard to get better. It’s nice to have good runs, and the last few weeks have definitely been better for us with a couple of top 10s. It’s been nice and, hopefully, we finish out the year that way with some good runs.”
“Obviously, the goal is to get better. We’ve been working hard at that this season and for next year as well with what we need to do with the new car. We need to be competitive with that and have a chance to compete for wins. For me, I’ve had a decent amount of input for next season and the direction we go in and what we’re going to do to be competitive. I’ve enjoyed that part.”
“I would say no practice. The hardest thing for me is we haven’t worked together, so we don’t have any notes from the past. It’s tough to go out and you don’t have anything to go off of. You’re trying to guess and start the race off well. It’s hard when you don’t start where you want to, and it’s hard to get there. You can only make so many adjustments to make your car better.”
“It’s totally different. We spent a day and a half in Charlotte testing that car and getting the feel for it. It was interesting and it was a different kind of test compared to anything I’ve ever done just because the car is so different. We didn’t know what adjustments to make, so we were going through a bunch of stuff to see what it did and how it made the car feel. I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun drive. It was different and, on the road course, that thing is really at home. It was faster and a different feel from what we have.”