Photo: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Ed Jones’s Upper League Transition

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

INDIANAPOLIS — Ed Jones finally hit the big time.

After moving his racing aspirations to the U.S. and racing in Indy Lights for two years, he won the Indy Lights championship in 2016, securing the Mazdaspeed Scholarship and parlayed that into a full time ride in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing.

But how has his first season been on the IndyCar side of the fence compared to his expectations?

“This is always what I was aiming for eventually so it’s great to finally be here and it’s a lot of work as we expected,” Jones said.

“But it’s gone really well and every time we’ve gone out this season we’ve been pushing harder and trying to make steps and I feel positive that it feels like we’ve done that every time we’ve gone out, and so that’s the main thing for me this season and I really want to push for some really top results and I’m sure that if things went our way that will work out.”

The month of May so far for Jones has been mostly positive except for teammate Sebastien Bourdais’s accident during qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500. The 2016 Freedom 100 runner-up qualified 11th and has high expectations.

“Last week or so we’ve had a really strong car, the team’s put a great package to gather and Seb’s help has been really good so yeah, I’m confident for Sunday.”

How has this month of May been different in terms of off track duties compared to last year, though?

“It’s been amazing, it’s pretty tiring. I wouldn’t mind resting for a few days but it’s great to have an event like this and it’s so positive for the sport and yeah, I just can’t wait to get to race day and get away from everything else.”

And possibly avenge his 0.0024 second loss in the 2016 Freedom 100?

“Yeah, that would be pretty nice, wouldn’t it? But it’s a much longer race and there’s so much that can go on so I just want to be there at the end with a chance.”

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.