INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (May 28, 2017) - In a sport that can require a lifetime of commitment to make your name, the Indianapolis 500 stands apart by giving racers the chance to cement their legacy in the course of just a few hours, and 500 miles, every year.
This year, while the eyes of the world focused on F1 phenom Fernando Alonso making his high-profile Indianapolis 500 debut, another young racer came charging through to notch his name as the highest finishing rookie.
Ed Jones, who won the 2016 Indy Lights Championship, brought his team owner Dale Coyne a third place finish in the biggest race of the year as the young Dubai native made the most of his AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology-equipped No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda/Dallara.
The result is the best-ever Indianapolis 500 finish for Dale Coyne Racing, which won the opening Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season with driver Sèbastien Bourdais. The team made significant investments in people and equipment to be one of the fastest teams all month.
The addition of the AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology took place just ahead of Carb Day as the team joined others looking to find the tenths that can be unlocked by saving big weight and generating high aerodynamic efficiency with AERO.
“It was a great race for us, I had a great car all month,” said Jones. “We were running through traffic, but the whole race was so up and down for us. It was a solid start, we were running in the top ten- eleven for most of the first half. Then when Dixon had his crash, thankfully those guys are okay, but I ran over some debris and it damaged the floor and the rear wing. We had to change the rear wing and it sent me to the back of the field, then we had to claw our way back up again.”
Despite the extra pit stop, Jones continued to move forward until holding second place with less than ten laps to go, eventually crossing the line in third for his career-best finish.
“We got some luck back with the last yellow as we pitted right before it, so it put us near the front,” said Jones. “But then I had some bad luck again, I damaged my front wing and it put a big hole in it, my legs got pretty cold to be honest. I had wind blowing into them like crazy. It also created a lot of drag. I was really good catching up to the other guys in the corners but as soon as we got to the straights I couldn’t tow up to them. We just lacked that straight line speed for the last 40 laps. It was very hard for me to defend or attack. Which is frustrating because, we had the car to win today.”
Jones will look to continue his momentum this weekend when the Verizion IndyCar Series takes to Detroit. The track is one that has seen the team show strength, winning and taking podiums in the past two seasons.
The 500 capped a weekend that also saw AERO-equipped teams in Pirelli World Challenge action at Lime Rock Park. Scoring another SPRINT X podium were Micheal Cooper and Jordan Taylor in the Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. The podium backed up their winning run at CTMP last weekend and was another useful bump in the points. Also having a big event at Lime Rock Park was the AERO-equipped No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GTS of Ian James, who led both races of the weekend in GTS competition and came home second in round five to mark the first-ever podium finish for the all-new racing machine.