Brandon Jones to move from JGR to the 9 at JRM, my takeaways from this announcement

There will be a new face behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in 2023. JR Motorsports announced today the signing of 25-year-old Brandon Jones to the organization where he’ll compete full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season.

Jones is five-time winner and eight-year veteran in the series who has qualified for the NXS Playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. In addition to his five wins – including a popular victory earlier this year at Martinsville Speedway – Jones claims 35 top-five and 97 top-10 finishes, and a best points finish of sixth in 2020.

“Brandon’s been a tough competitor over the years, and he’s a talented addition to JR Motorsports,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM co-owner and general manager. “He’s a series veteran that brings a lot of experience, and we’re going to see big things from Brandon and the 9 team in 2023.”

In 2022, Jones owns one win, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes and sits seventh in the championship points battle with one race remaining before the onset of the playoffs. He also won three out of four ARCA Menards Series starts he’s made in 2022.

“To watch how competitive JRM has been over the years is really impressive,” Jones said. “They’re a threat to win every week, and one of the premier teams in our series. I’m so thankful to Dale (Earnhardt Jr.), Kelley and Mr. Hendrick for allowing me to be part of it.

“Reuniting with Chevrolet again is awesome, too. They were a big part of my career early on, and I’m looking forward to building on those relationships and driving a Camaro in 2023.”

Jones has found Victory Lane at every level of NASCAR national series competition in which he’s raced. The Atlanta native lays claim to eight ARCA wins, a K&N East-West Challenge victory and a Truck Series triumph in 2020.

Sponsorship and crew chief duties for Jones and the No. 9 team will be announced at a later date.

Best Move For Jones

Another year with Joe Gibbs Racing wasn’t necessarily going to do wonders for Jones. It would have been Year 6 for him there. With no real room to move up into a JGR ride on the Cup level and Jones unfortunately not being a splashy name to land at 23XI Racing, remaining with JGR was going to make him and Xfinity Series lifer.

Going to JRM could be the breakout that he’s been long searching for. This 9 car has won three championships (2014, 2017-18) and tallied 20 of the company’s 69 overall victories since 2014. If he can continue that success, Jones is young enough to still find a Cup ride.

There’s more Chevrolet teams than there are Toyota and this move could land him a promotion finally.

Risky Move Too

This move though is a make or break in a way. If he doesn’t thrive in this ride, then there’s no reason to even think Cup level because it will show everyone that maybe he is an Xfinity Series lifer. This is one of the top rides in the series and Jones has to be thinking Championship 4’s now.

2023 will be Year No. 8 in this series and with that much experience, even in the first year with this team, he’s got to win multiple races in the regular season and find a way to vie for a final four berth.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JULY 30: Brandon Jones, driver of the #19 Menards/DuPont Air Filters Toyota, Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, and Andy Lally, driver of the #08 TicketSmarter/Special Report Ford, race during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Move Frees up Toyota Seat

This move is also big for Toyota in a way that it opens up a seat in the Xfinity Series that they’ll need. With Kyle Busch signing with RCR, it takes away the Truck program. With John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith and Corey Heim all needing places to go, with Jones departing and a likely move of Ty Gibbs up to Cup, it allows 2 seats on the Xfinity level to go to 2 of those 3. The other can even shift over to Sam Hunt Racing if needed.

All 3 have more upside they feel than Jones so it creates a better path.

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