RICHMOND, VA - APRIL 29: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, talks with Erik Jones, driver of the #77 GameStop/Prey Toyota, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 29, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR driver discusses why he doesn't make friends with his competitors


Erik Jones didn't make the playoffs, but he still had a successful rookie season and was signed by Joe Gibbs Racing for next season.

Before his rookie year started, Jones told reporters that he doesn't hang out with other drivers and keeps to himself. He said he brings his friends to the racetrack with him, which basically means that he only needs his crew to be successful.

Jones appeared on NASCAR America on NBC Sports, and he discussed that philosophy more in depth with Dale Jarrett and Steve Letarte.

Jones said he got that mentality when he was growing up racing from his dad.

"My dad was always big on it, because at first when I started out my racing career in go karts I just wasn't that aggressive," Jones said. "He was like, 'we bring our friends to the race track. You need to go out there and get aggressive. If you've to move someone out-of-the-way, do it.'"

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He also said having teammates in racing is tough when they also have to compete against each other, and he said Kyle Busch helped him with that aspect of racing.

Actually, Kyle (Busch) was a huge help with that," Jones said. "He's actually a great teammate."

Jones said his tendencies are similar to Busch's, and the two of them will work well as teammates in the future with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Jones was asked how he will approach racing during the last nine races since he's not in the playoffs, and he said there's definitely some etiquette involved when it comes to challenging drivers who are in the postseason.

Jones will likely win NASCAR's Rookie of the Year, especially after six top-10s and three top-5s during the last six races of the regular season. He is replacing Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.

(h/t NBC Sports)