By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
After a rookie season in the Verizon IndyCar Series that rarely saw him put a wheel wrong, Ed Jones has been announced as the driver for the No. 10 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
The 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion finished third at the Indianapolis 500 behind winner Takuma Sato and Helio Castroneves despite having a damaged car. Jones had five top 10 finishes to his credit en route to 14th in the final championship standings.
Jones will join Scott Dixon and it will be the second time Jones has teamed up with a four-time champion after spending 2017 with Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais.
“This is truly an honor to have the opportunity to drive for Chip, his organization and to represent NTT DATA.” said Jones in a team release.
“Chip runs one of the biggest and best motor racing teams in the world, and equally as important, is a proven winner across each series he competes in from Le Mans to Indianapolis and beyond. ”
“I want to get up to speed quickly and learn as much as I can. Scott (Dixon) is a legend in the sport, and to get the chance to team with him is an amazing opportunity. I think I’m joining the team at a perfect time when the playing field is being reset with common aero kits, and everyone is adjusting to a new formula. I’m really looking forward to getting in the car and getting underway with our 2018 campaign.”
“We’ve been following Ed’s career for quite some time now and are pleased we are able to add him to strengthen our Indy car lineup,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “He has a year of Indy car racing under his belt now and is the type of young talent that we were looking for. We can’t wait to get him on the race track.”
Jones is the latest in Mazda Road to Indy graduates to sign to drive in IndyCar. Gabby Chaves (2014 Indy Lights champion) has yet to confirm how many races he will contest with Harding Racing next year, while Spencer Pigot (2014 Pro Mazda, 2015 Indy Lights champion) signed a full-time deal with Ed Carpenter in their No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.