Leeds, AL (April 23, 2017) – The Dale Coyne Racing drivers didn’t cross the finish line in the positions they were hoping for entering the race weekend with Sebastien Bourdais placing eighth and Ed Jones 16th, but the team did achieve one of its goals with Bourdais remaining in the Championship lead after the third round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Jones and Bourdais were starting 11th and 12th respectively. While Bourdais was able to remain in his position during the opening laps, Jones wasn’t as fortunate. The rookie was forced to head to pit lane on the first lap to replace his damaged front wing caused by unavoidable contact with on track debris.
The unexpected trip to pit lane sent Jones to the back of the field in 20th place. The driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car managed to fight back to take the checkered flag in 16th place by the end of the 90-lap event.
As for points leader Bourdais, he gained positions during his first stint, making it as high as sixth before his first pit stop. He would then go on to battle for ninth with Tony Kanaan before eventually crossing the finish line in eighth following pit stops by cars ahead that were on a different pit stop sequence.
Bourdais’ finish allows him to maintain his Championship points lead. He now sits six points ahead of Scott Dixon.
They’re won’t be much time to rest for the Dale Coyne Racing crew as they’ll be back in action on Saturday, April 29 for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, the first oval race of the season.
Sebastien Bourdais - #18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda
“I’m really happy for the whole crew. Everybody did a really good job, we had solid pit stops. We didn’t have a great weekend at all. Performance wise we were average the whole time and I was very unhappy with the car so to salvage a top 10 and P8 like that in circumstances where there really wasn’t much going on, you have to feel pretty good about it. I think we learned a few things this weekend for the road course which we haven’t had many opportunities this year with the testing restrictions and it’s going to help us to get the car better for the rest of the season, so that was key to understanding what was doing what. I’m not sure we understand everything yet but today was a pretty big step in validating some of the things we understood. Now on to the next one.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
“It was a frustrating start to the race. I caught some debris that wasn’t really avoidable. That put us to the back of the field. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have the pace today so I think we would have struggled even if we were up there from the beginning. It was a tough day but, again, I learned a lot. I feel we’ll be better for the next one. Phoenix is up next and that’s the first oval of the year so it will be interesting to see how we get on.”