Detroit, MI (June 4, 2017) – Overall it was a tough day for the Dale Coyne Racing team in Detroit on Sunday, in the second race of the doubleheader weekend. However, a bright light in a race that saw Ed Jones fail to take the checkered flag for the first time this season, was a strong run to 14th place by Esteban Gutierrez, who was making his second Verizon IndyCar Series start.
In a similar situation to the first Dual on Saturday, Jones and Esteban were starting near the rear of the field, with Jones having qualified 17th and the Mexican 19th. The #18 crew once again elected to use a two-stop strategy for Gutierrez while Jones’ engineers decided to try a three-stop one.
Jones had managed to make his way up to eighth before his second pit stop but he would soon find himself at the tail end of the field when contact with JR Hildebrand sent him to pit lane for a new front wing at the halfway mark of the race.
In the meantime, Gutierrez was making his way forward through the field, having made it as high as 12th heading into the second half of the race.
Things took a turn for Jones on lap 59 when he went into the run off area in Turn 7 and stalled the engine. Unfortunately for the driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car, the Holmatro Safety Team was unable to restart his car and he had to call it quits.
While Jones had to register his first DNF of the season, Gutierrez was enjoying his race battling with Mikhail Aleshin and Marco Andretti throughout a good part of the race.
A red flag with three laps to go bunched up the field while the driver of the #18 Unifin Honda was in 13th place. With Andretti behind him at the restart, the Mexican did his best to keep him behind but he would have to settle for a 14th place finish. It was a satisfying result for the rookie who had to face the difficulties of the Detroit track in his maiden IndyCar weekend.
The Dale Coyne Racing team won’t have much time to rest with the Verizon IndyCar Series heading to Texas this coming weekend for the ninth round of the season on June 10, 2017.
Esteban Gutierrez - #18 Unifin Honda
“It was quite an experience. Two days of racing, two days of qualifying, one after the other. It was tough. It was a challenge to come here with no testing, straight into the car with two short practice sessions on one of the most physical tracks on the calendar. Two days in a row racing 70 laps, it was quite an experience. We had an eventful race today with good chances. I want to say thank you to all the team, all the crew. It was a fantastic experience. I really loved the experience this weekend, we have fantastic mechanics and engineers that supported me and helped me get comfortable with the car and all the procedures. It was pretty special and I look forward to more, hopefully.”
Ed Jones - #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
"It was a tough race. We tried a different strategy, I don’t think it quite worked out but obviously the contact we had is what sent us to the back and that’s what really ruined our race. It’s frustrating. It’s our first bad result of the season, and those will happen in my rookie season at some point but we’re going to work hard and get ready for Texas.”