IndyCar: Ed Jones to replace Santino Ferrucci in 2021

Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan, IndyCar (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan, IndyCar (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Ed Jones is set to return to Dale Coyne Racing, but in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan entry vacated by Santino Ferrucci for the 2021 IndyCar season.

With Alex Palou off to Chip Ganassi Racing and Santino Ferrucci off to the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Sam Hunt Racing for the 2021 season, Dale Coyne Racing’s IndyCar team were left with two full-time seats to fill.

The first of those two seats has been filled.

Ed Jones, who competed for the team as a rookie in the 2017 season, is set to return to IndyCar in the 2021 season behind the wheel of the SealMaster-sponsored #18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda, which Ferrucci vacated.

Here is what he had to say about the matter.

"“I’m really excited to join the Coyne Vasser Sullivan team for the 2021 NTT IndyCar season. I started my IndyCar career with Dale, Jimmy and Sulli have had much success as owners together, and the combination of Coyne, Vasser Sullivan is a proven team over the last 3 seasons. I’m pumped for the opportunity to drive the #18 SealMaster machine and represent the SealMaster franchisees across the country, this really is the perfect opportunity.”"

Here is what Dale Coyne had to say.

"“We’re very happy to have Ed Jones back with us and back in the NTT IndyCar Series this season. We were sad to see him leave after his first time with us but we’ve kept in touch since. Ed had a great rookie season at DCR in 2017, which included our best finish of third at the Indianapolis 500. Now with DCVS, we hope to continue where we left off with him and look forward to a strong season.”"

Here is what James Sullivan had to add.

"“We’re full steam ahead having Ed Jones join us, and taking over the driver responsibilities for the No. 18 Team SealMaster machine. Ed has had some big moments in IndyCar, and we expect you’ll see some big moments with us together in 2021.”"

Finally, here is what Jason Hedlesky, SealMaster Director of Franchise Development, had to say.

"“We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with the team. It’s been great for our brand. Renewing our commitment affords us the opportunity to keep SealMaster in the national spotlight of IndyCar racing, and on its international stage, as well.”"

Jones has not competed in the series on a full-time basis since he competed for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2018.

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In 2019, he competed part-time for Ed Carpenter Racing through a partnership with Scuderia Corsa. He competed in the road and street course races plus the Indy 500. He did not compete at all in 2020.

The 25-year-old Emirati-born British driver finished in 14th place in the championship standings with Dale Coyne Racing in the 2017 season. He finished in a career-high third place in the Indy 500 and was controversially not given Rookie of the Year honors due to Fernando Alonso’s impressive performance, which ultimately resulted in an engine-related DNF.

In 2018, he finished in 13th place in the standings with two more third place finishes, one on the streets of Long Beach, California and another on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan.

Dale Coyne Racing’s second seat is still available, and several drivers have been linked to it. Former Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has been mentioned as the top candidate, with other candidates being Charlie Kimball, who will not return to A.J. Foyt Enterprises in 2021, and Pietro Fittipaldi, who drove for the team in select races in the 2018 season.

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The 2021 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst following multiple schedule changes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.