Phoenix, AZ (April 29, 2017) – Dale Coyne Racing had an up and down race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night. Rookie Ed Jones continued to impress with an 11th place finish but Sebastien Bourdais was innocently taken out of the race when he got collected by a spinning car, on the first lap.
The Dale Coyne Racing team was hoping for a good night of racing with Bourdais starting 10th on the grid for the 250-lap event, however things weren’t meant to be for the Frenchman.
Shortly after the green flag was given, Bourdais got hit by the car of Mikhail Aleshin who spun out in Turn 1. Bourdais had nowhere to go to avoid the car that was heading towards him and suffered race ending damage to his Sonny’s BBQ machine.
Fortunately for the team, Jones managed to avoid the mêlée that took out a total of five cars. The rookie would take the restart in 11th place, however he would be relegated to 14th a few laps later, where he spent most of the first half of the race.
During the second half of the event, Jones climbed a few positions. With good pit stops by his crew and thanks to the rookie staying out of trouble, he came home in 11th place, gaining valuable experience along the way in what was his first oval race aboard an Indy car.
With Bourdais’ misfortune in Phoenix, he now finds himself fourth in the Championship standings with 128 points, 31 out of first place, while Jones sits in 10th place with 81 points.
Next up for the Dale Coyne Racing team will be an IndyCar Open Test at Gateway Motorsports Park. Following today’s damage to Bourdais’ car, Jones offered to share his car with his teammate for the one-day test.
Following the test, the team will turn its focus to the INDYCAR Grand Prix which takes place May 13 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sebastien Bourdais - #18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda
“It’s disappointing. We work so hard and try to do things right. We had a good position at the start, being on the outside and I could’ve probably picked up one or two positions because I had a good run going. But then all it takes is someone who takes a little bit too much risk to ruin your day. You can take risks when you’re on the outside all alone, but if you’re in the middle, in the gearbox of the car in front of you there’s a good chance that you’ll lose the car. It’s disappointing to lose the points lead like this, I knew we would lose it this weekend but we’re really missing out on some important points. Plus, there’s a lot of damage to the car and we really didn’t need that.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
“It was pretty difficult. I struggled a lot in traffic but I managed to avoid all the incidents which we could have easily been caught up in, so it’s good to finish the race and finish P11. It’s the first oval race for me in an Indy car so it was a lot to learn. I gained a lot of experience and that’s always important. I’m looking forward to the next one.”