“It was just a tough situation for us,” Gibbs said. “Things changed and then we got forced into making a decision.”
Kenseth got the news days before the New Hampshire race he was out at JGR at the end of the season. The 21-year-old Jones will take Kenseth’s job in the No. 20 Toyota. Jones is on a one-year loaner contract to Gibbs’ sister team Furniture Row Racing, and Gibbs had to put Jones somewhere in 2018.
“We did not expect to be where we are today,” Gibbs said. “We had a plan, and things kept coming up and changing. I mentioned Carl Edwards just being one of those. But all of a sudden things start changing, it puts you in a situation where you have to make a tough decision. We did not want to do that. We didn’t want to do something to upset Matt. He’s been a great partner for us, and our drivers. Everybody said, we don’t want to race against him. I think that’s what’s going to happen.”