Sixth like a win for Jones and DCR with Vasser Sullivan

Sometimes a run to sixth place in an NTT IndyCar Series race feels like a win. That was sentiment lingering within the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan team on Sunday after Ed Jones wheeled the No. 18 Honda to its finest result in a season filled with disappointments.

A rough experience in qualifying at Nashville left Jones sitting 26th – next to last – ahead of Sunday’s 80-lap race, and once the crazy contest was over, the No. 18 had improved 20 positions and turned a nightmare into celebrations for the DCRwVS squad.

The achievement required an added layer of complexity to overcome as Jones was given a drive-through penalty for hitting and spinning a rival, which dropped the No. 18 car to last on lap 24. Over the next 56 laps, Jones methodically worked his way forward, all while stretching his fuel mileage to carry out a two-stop plan. After the final caution flag was lifted, Jones was on pace to finish eighth, but he claimed a top six after executing a couple of daring passes in the final laps.

“What a difference a day makes… gruesome qualifying on Saturday and Sunday was absolutely electric for us,” co-owner James ‘Sulli’ Sullivan told RACER.

“Ed and the SealMaster machine were in sync. In a way, Ed getting the penalty and drive through took the race to the next level for us; after that, Ed flat out threw down. Ed’s fuel management was on point, which was critical to give us the chance to defend and also attack Felix Rosenqvist when it counted on the last lap, which Ed did.”

Beyond Jones’ fine race result, there was added meaning to his performance as the DCRwVS crew arrived in Nashville with heavy hearts. Team co-owner Jimmy Vasser lost his father in the days leading up to the event, and if the dark cloud hanging over the season wasn’t enough to deal with, the passing of James Vasser cast a deeper pall on the No. 18 program.

In light of all that’s happened of late with the No. 18 program and Vasser’s personal loss, Sulli was thankful for the relief and celebration that arrived after the checkered flag flew over Nashville.

“We had Jimmy’s dad riding on the car with us, and topping it off, we had the Silverback’s grandson Cole on the crew with us all weekend,” he said. “Yesterday was a P6 that felt like we left soaked in champagne.”

Jones Back In Happy Spot Feeling Thrill Of Speed At Indy

Ed Jones knows he should have participated in Sunday’s Fast Nine Shootout during Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, giving him a shot at the pole for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

Instead, he’ll roll off the grid this Sunday from the 11th starting position, in the middle of row four. Jones said his No. 18 SealMaster Honda had the wrong gearing in his first run Saturday morning, resulting in a slower speed.

There was an internal debate happening within his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan team as the final hour of qualifying approached Saturday: settle for 19th on the starting grid or try to improve their starting position.

Jones was adamant he needed to make another qualifying attempt. With the right gearing, even in the heat of the of the day, Jones was confident he could improve his position. He estimates if he had the right gearing for his first run, he would have slotted sixth in the Firestone Fast Nine Shootout on Sunday.

He eventually won that discussion with the team and hit the track with nearly 40 minutes remaining in the session. Jones’ hunch was right: He improved eight positions.

“I just knew we had so much more potential,” he said. “You don’t want to risk it in qualifying; the team doesn’t want to do that. I know there’s probably a lot of other drivers who wouldn’t want to get back out there after they’ve done that run. But for me, qualifying at Indy is probably one of my favorite things because of all the stress that goes into it and how rewarding it is when you get a solid run.”

Jones, 26, has felt confident about his chances in the Indianapolis 500 since the NTT INDYCAR SERIES hosted a doubleheader in early May at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 12th in Race 1 and 22nd in Race 2 after being involved in a Lap 1 accident that was none of his doing.

On the combined results of practice charts for the Indy 500, Jones boasts the ninth-fastest practice speed of the month with a best lap of 231.569 mph. He said his team has put less of a priority on putting up a big speed by virtue of an aerodynamic tow and instead ensuring he has a car that races well.

In that regard, Jones is feeling good about his team’s status.

“I know the speedway package this team put together was super strong at Texas; we were just a little bit unlucky with some things,” he said. “I knew we were going to be up there (on the practice charts). I think we should be higher up than we are, so it’s not a surprise to me. I know I run really well around here, as well.

“It’s all about looking your best on the right day. I’m not surprised. Just constantly working and trying to figure out how we can get a little bit more out of everyone.”

Jones is also excited to be back in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and at the Racing Capital of the World. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jones was unable to put together a ride for the 2020 season. Instead, he spent his quarantine taking artificial intelligence and business management courses through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Jones, who loves learning and improving himself, appreciated the opportunity to learn from such a prestigious academic institution. But the Brit, who hails from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is back to doing what he loves on the racetrack he loves the most.

“It’s the only thing that frightens me sometimes,” he said. “You enjoy it even more because of that. Today, there’s not many things you can get a thrill like that, and that’s the thing I missed most last year not being in INDYCAR -- that thrill. There’s a lot of times where you’re like, ‘What am I doing?’ It’s just crazy, but at the same time you’re like, ‘It’s the best thing ever.’ I just enjoy it so much. My driving style helps on ovals, as well.”

Combine his driving style with the car his team has provided him, and Jones likes his chances in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” In three starts, he has a best finish of third and a best start of fourth.

The top 10 starters in Sunday’s race all represent some of the biggest teams in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES or are accomplished drivers at IMS. And then there’s Jones, who has three starts in the race driving for a two-car team that hasn’t won a race since 2018.

Jones admits that on paper his team might seem like an underdog, but he doesn’t believe race fans should count him out.

“I don’t feel like I’m an underdog,” he said. “In terms of teams, we probably are. But if I was to win the race on Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit. I know where I stand, and for me to be back on podiums and doing things like that, it wouldn’t surprise me. I feel like that’s where I deserve to be.”

Keep in mind: that third-place finish in his rookie run in 2017 came in a Dale Coyne Racing car. Where did he start? 11th.

Ed Jones Has Strong Drive in Genesys 300

Ed Jones Race Summary:
Ed Jones had a strong performance in the No. 18 Team SealMaster-Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan car finishing 12th in the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

Due to inclement weather, today’s schedule was adjusted and qualifying was cancelled. The starting field was set based on championship points, so Jones started 19th.

He dropped to 21st early in the race, however toward the end of the first stint his ability to save his tires while maintaining his speed and passing cars allowed him to advance nine positions.

The first yellow of the race came out prior to Jones pitting for the first time. When the pits were opened, Jones pitted and rejoined the race in 10th place.

He passed two cars to move into eighth place and slotted into a race-high fourth before making his second stop.

He rejoined in 17th place, passed three cars and pitted for the third and final time in 14th place.

During the final stint he picked up to more positions to finish 12th.

The Genesys 300 was Race 1 of the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader which will conclude tomorrow with the XPEL 375.

Ed Jones Race Quote:
“We had a really tough time in practice this morning, however the SealMaster crew made some great changes for the race, and we ended up with a great race car! We took it step-by-step in the race, made some great passes. We made our way forward. I lost a few spots, I’m not sure how. On the last restart I tried to make as much time as I could and made up a few spots. It was a fun race. A decent result considering where we started and hopefully we can have a better one tomorrow.

Ed Jones Fast Facts:
Jones earned 18 points today and is now 17th in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship standings with 43 points.

The 2021 Genesys 300 was Jones’ 50th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES starts and third at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 12th place finish was Jones’ second best in three races at TMS behind a ninth place showing in 2018.

Jones is contesting his fourth NTT INDYCAR season and first with Dale Coyne w/ Vasser Sullivan.

In his 50 career INDYCAR starts, Jones has earned 14 top-10 finishes including three podium performances Third at Indy in 2017, and third at Long Beach and Detroit Race 2 in 2018.

Jones was the 2017 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year and was the top-rookie finisher in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, placing third.

Jones, 26, was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (of British citizenship) and currently resides in Miami, Florida.

Jones to Drive No. 18 Team SealMaster Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan for 2021

Dale Coyne, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan announced today that Ed Jones will drive the No.18 car, co-entered by Dale Coyne Racing and Vasser Sullivan Racing for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.   

The team also announced that, for the fourth consecutive season, the car will carry primary sponsorship support from SealMaster Pavement Products and be entered as the No. 18 Team SealMaster-Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda.

Jones is the 2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and was the top-rookie finisher in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, placing third. He is also the 2016 Indy Lights Champion. Jones has made 47 IndyCar starts earning 14 top-10 finishes including three podium performances, the third at Indy in 2017, and third at Long Beach and Detroit Race 2 in 2018. Jones, 25, was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (of British citizenship) and currently resides in Miami, Florida.

Dale Coyne, Team co-owner Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan:
“We’re very happy to have Ed Jones back with us and back in the NTT IndyCar Series this season. We were sad to see him leave after his first time with us but we’ve kept in touch since. Ed had a great rookie season at DCR in 2017, which included our best finish of third at the Indianapolis 500. Now with DCVS, we hope to continue where we left off with him and look forward to a strong season.” 

James “Sulli” Sullivan, Team co-owner Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan:
“We’re full steam ahead having Ed Jones join us, and taking over the driver responsibilities for the No. 18 Team SealMaster machine. Ed has had some big moments in IndyCar, and we expect you’ll see some big moments with us together in 2021.” 

Ed Jones, Driver No. 18 Team SealMaster – Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda:
“I’m really excited to join the Coyne Vasser Sullivan team for the 2021 NTT IndyCar season. I started my IndyCar career with Dale, Jimmy and Sulli have had much success as owners together, and the combination of Coyne, Vasser Sullivan is a proven team over the last 3 seasons. I’m pumped for the opportunity to drive the #18 SealMaster machine and represent the SealMaster franchisees across the country, this really is the perfect opportunity.” 

Jason Hedlesky, SealMaster Director of Franchise Development:
“We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with the team. It’s been great for our brand. Renewing our commitment affords us the opportunity to keep SealMaster in the national spotlight of IndyCar racing, and on its international stage, as well.”



Goodwood Speedweek 2020

The Goodwood Speedweek 2020 provided motor sport enthusiasts both modern, but particularly those with a passion for historic cars to see the most tremendous selection of cars on track. 

Ed and Joe Twyman his co-driver, drove a 1964 AC Cobra in the RAC TT feature race and extracted the best performance possible with the most fun.






Goodwood SpeedWeek Gallery

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