Madison, IL (August 25, 2017) – All the attention was on Sebastien Bourdais making his return to the cockpit, but it was his teammate Ed Jones that was the quickest of the Dale Coyne Racing cars during qualifying for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Friday with Jones qualifying 12th ahead of Bourdais in 19th.
The Frenchman, who returned to the cockpit of his #18 machine today 14 weeks after his qualifying incident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was the first of the Dale Coyne drivers to take to the track to qualify.
While Bourdais was happy and confident with his car in racing trim during practice, he was still searching for his confidence behind the wheel in qualifying trim as he went on to register a two-lap average speed of 181.846 mph.
After placing fifth in the practice session earlier in the day, Jones was hopeful heading into qualifying. Unfortunately, he had to deal with a car that had a little bit too much oversteer but despite that, he still managed to register a two-lap average speed of 182.900mph that initially placed him fifth on the grid.
Once all 21 cars had made their qualifying attempt, Jones ended up 12th with Bourdais 19th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
The 248-lap Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 9pm ET on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
What they had to say:
Sebastien Bourdais - #18 Unifin Honda
“It was a disappointing qualifying run. I knew coming in that it was going to be somewhat difficult. I don’t have the confidence and I didn’t get a good read on the qualifying trim in our simulation run in practice, so we stayed a bit careful with the balance of the car and I wasn’t aggressive enough with it. It’s a bit of a shame. The guys did a really good job and the car is actually pretty good in race trim so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
"I really like the track with the new pavement. It’s smooth and a lot of fun to drive. The conditions changed so much with the temperature going down from practice and it really makes a big difference around here. We had a solid first practice but we had a bit too much oversteer in qualifying, I had to save it a few times and it killed the speed a bit. The car wasn’t like that in practice but we should have a good race car for tomorrow and hopefully we can move forward.”