Four years after winning at the track, Blake Jones is returning to Talladega Superspeedway and the Monster Energy Cup Series. In late September, Frontstretch reported the Tennessee native would run Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega, which was confirmed by Jones on social media and NASCAR’s entry list release on Tuesday.
On Monday, Jones posted a photo of his NASCAR license on Facebook:
In 2015, Jones ran six races in what is now the ARCA Menards Series. In just his second series start, he won at Talladega after passing team-mate Tom Hessert, who ran out of fuel, on the final lap. Over the 2016 and 2018 seasons, he ran sporadically in NASCAR’s national series with five Xfinity Series starts. In 2018, he made his Cup début with BK Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His latest Cup start, a twenty-seventh in the 2018 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, was the final race for BK owner Ron Devine before the financially-troubled team’s assets were taken over by Front Row Motorsports.
For Talladega, Jones will drive the #77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Spire Motorsports. Newly formed for the 2019 season, Spire surprised with a rain-delayed victory in July’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Talladega’s sister superspeedway Daytona International Speedway with Justin Haley. Incidentally, Haley – currently racing for an Xfinity championship – was running just his third Cup race, with his first at the Talladega spring race earlier in the year. Besides Jones and Haley, the #77 has been split between four different drivers (Garrett Smithley, Reed Sorenson, Quin Houff, and D.J. Kennington), with Jamie McMurray driving it as the #40 at the Daytona 500. The number is thirty-fourth in the owners’ points.