Chip Ganassi Racing‘s Ed Jones returned to the podium in the Verizon IndyCar Series last weekend when he took third place in the second race of the 2018 Chevrolet Duel in Detroit. The Dubai-born British driver had a great weekend, bouncing back from a disappointing Indianapolis 500 the week before to take two solid results in the weekend’s races.
Jones entered the weekend of the Duel in Detroit determined to make amends for a disappointing result at Indianapolis Motor Speedway less than seven days previously. After qualifying way down in twenty-ninth place for the 500, Jones was one of the first to retire from the race after crashing his car on lap fifty-eight.
After that race, Jones had said that he was encouraged by the speed of his car and the performance of his crew, before going on to say that “we’ll be back and stronger in Detroit.”
Ed’s weekend at the Belle Isle street circuit got off to a fantastic start. In Saturday’s race, Jones started down in eleventh place and made ground early on, soon racing into the higher regions of the top ten. As the race went on, his decent speed continued.
In the closing stages, he started to make ground on the battle for fourth place, but he then had to start focusing on defending his position from Team Penske‘s Will Power and Josef Newgarden. He successfully fended off the former series champions, finishing in a strong sixth place; with team-mate Scott Dixon winning the race after starting from second place.
“This track is always difficult,” Ed stated after the first race, “but it was a great day for the NTT Data car. The guys gave me a really good car in qualifying and although I didn’t get the most out of it there, we were able to make it through the ranks in the race. Big congratulations to my team-mate Scott Dixon for his 42nd IndyCar win. It was a fantastic job by the whole Ganassi team.”
Ed’s decent form continued into the second race of the weekend in Detroit. He qualified his #10 car much higher up the order for race two, despite the tricky wet conditions, putting his Honda fourth on the grid; just ahead of his team-mate Dixon in fifth.
Jones was punchy early on when the green flag flew. He briefly moved up into third place on the opening lap, but a mistake, later on, would seem him lose a handful of positions. After the first pit-stops, Jones was back up into his qualification position of fourth and was once again ahead of his team-mate.
The duo stayed nose-to-tail for much of the race, but both would gain one position each in the final ten laps when former race-leader Alexander Rossi locked-up and ran down an escape road. This would promote Ed and Scott to third and fourth place respectively, with Ed crossing the line on lap seventy to take his second podium finish of the season and the third of his career.
The podium, coupled with his sixth-place finish on Saturday, saw Ed earn a solid number of championship points. He now sits in sixth place in the standings heading into this weekend’s ninth race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Another brilliant day for the NTT Data team,” said Jones after climbing from his car following race two, “The guys really did a great job with the car over the weekend. We started off a bit slow, but the important thing is that we improved with every session and earned our way to the podium.
“We had a really good qualifying in tricky conditions on Sunday; I wasn’t sure how the car was going to feel in the wet initially, and it was pretty sketchy for the first few laps but once I got a handle on it, I had a lot of fun out there. That said, the No.10 NTT Data car was awesome in the dry and we wanted a dry race after Scott’s amazing win on Saturday.
“Things played out well for us, and while we didn’t quite have enough to get by Will [Power], the podium was another step in the right direction and I’m already looking forward to getting back after it at Texas in a few short days. Let’s see if we can’t go a couple of spots better again…”
This weekend’s race, the 2018 DXC Technology 600 in Texas, will take place in the evening on Saturday, June 9.