PHOENIX, Ariz. — Erik Jones isn’t your typical 21-year-old.
For more than 36 weeks a year, he heads to various tracks to try his hand at wheelin’ and dealin’ a race car to first place.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
But he doesn’t get to call in sick. Or go out with non-racing friends on a Friday night. However, he doesn’t complain because he’s doing his job. A job he happens to be pretty good at.
Jones is recognized as one of the future stars in NASCAR. He earned a full-time ride with one of the premier teams in the sport, Joe Gibbs Racing. He is in top-tier equipment with a superb pit crew and shop employees, and his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win is within reach.
And, oh yeah, he was also the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, beating out his new JGR teammate Daniel Suarez for the title in 2017.
As one of the youngest drivers in the Monster Energy Series, fans still have a lot to learn about the kid from Byron, Michigan. During the West Coast Media Tour, he sat down exclusively with NASCAR.com to share 10 facts about himself fans might not know … and some may be surprising.
1. Jones would dominate in a classic rock knowledge trivia contest. His favorite song? “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones.
2. The German Shepard puppy you may have noticed in Jones’ social media? His favorite pal — Oscar (who even has his own Instagram).
3. He moved to North Carolina when he was 16 for racing.
4. During middle school, Jones tried his hand at basketball, but admittedly wasn’t very good. He often played at point guard or small forward.
5. He loves to grill, and he likes his steak medium. Not medium well or medium rare. Medium.
6. Jones passes on cream or sugar in his coffee. He likes it black.
7. Perks of being a professional athlete? Running into them in Cabo, which is where he met up with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during a vacation.
8. The best concert Jones has seen live was Bob Seger in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rock on.
9. He doesn’t have many nicknames, but the one that has stuck? Bones Jones. One of his crew guys thought of it because it rhymed. (Two-time UFC champ Jon “Bones” Jones may have been an inspiration, too.)
10. If you need a certified scuba diver, make sure you give Jones a call. He says it’s relaxing to explore the ocean. However, make sure you use the buddy system.