Joe Gibbs Racing protege Erik Jones joins Furniture Row for 2017

NASCAR Sprint Cup team Furniture Row will expand to a second Toyota in 2017 for Joe Gibbs Racing protege and reigning Truck Series champion Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing protege Erik Jones joins Furniture Row for 2017

Furniture Row's current driver Martin Truex Jr was a title contender going into the Cup finale at Homestead last year and has already qualified for this year's Chase - meaning the team is again set to be the only single-car operation in the championship playoff.

Jones has already made his Cup debut as a stand-in driver with JGR last season.

He replaced Denny Hamlin during the Bristol race when Hamlin was suffering from neck spasms, had a one-off in Kyle Busch's car during Busch's absence with a broken leg and then stood in for Matt Kenseth when Kenseth was suspended for two races following his Martinsville collision with Joey Logano.

"I'm excited and anxious at the same time," said Jones.

"It's pretty cool for me to be partnered up with Furniture Row and be part of them growing."

The 20-year-old is fourth in the second tier Xfinity Series in his first full season, having stepped up with JGR after beating Brad Keselowski's protege Tyler Riddick and double champion Matt Crafton to the 2015 Truck title for Kyle Busch's team.

Jones described his impending move to a full-time Cup seat as "a big jump - you're going from a field where 10-12 cars can win to one where 20 cars can win, and all those guys are extremely talented".

Furniture Row, which is working to secure a second Charter for Jones's entry under NASCAR's new team system, also announced at Watkins Glen last weekend that it had re-signed Truex through to the end of 2019.

Truex joined the team for 2014 when his previous employer Michael Waltrip Racing scaled back its operation.

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