Long Pond, PA (August 20, 2017) – Pocono Raceway lived up to its nickname the Tricky Triangle today with Dale Coyne Racing drivers Ed Jones placing 17th after an up and down race and Esteban Gutierrez seeing his race end following slight contact with the wall early in the race.
After an impressive performance in qualifying on Saturday, things proved to be a bit more difficult on Sunday for the pair of rookies, who were making their first start at Pocono.
Jones, who was starting 11th, fell to 17th by Lap 7 but despite falling to the back of the pack, he kept fighting and making his way back through the field. By Lap 54 he had made his way into the top 10 and was sitting eighth before his second pit stop.
Jones would keep moving up and down during the race. Things seemed to be taking a turn for the better in the final third of the race as he would pass three cars on Lap 139, and he would then get by one car per lap to make his way to ninth by lap 147.
The driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car was then on his way to a top 10 finish but a mistake entering the pit box on his final stop cost him dearly and sent him to the back of the field, where he would take the checkered flag in 17th position.
As for Gutierrez, the rookie was having a good race, gaining a couple of positions in the opening laps and running with the leaders, until he got a little high in Turn 3 and tapped the wall. While the driver of the #18 Unifin car was able to make his way back to pit lane, the suspension damage to the left rear was too severe and caused the end of his race. He would end up 22nd.
The Dale Coyne Racing team now turns its focus to the 1.25-mile oval at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 25 – 26.
What they had to say:
Esteban Gutierrez – #18 Unifin Honda
“I was having a really good race up to that point. I came into the corner and by the time I was in the middle of the corner I had massive understeer and I just couldn’t save it. Fortunately, I did my best to reduce the impact but at that moment I was a passenger. It’s quite fun, I have to say. It was really good racing out there and we were really doing well, we had good pace. We were fighting with the other cars. I was trying to find the rhythm, the timing but unfortunately it didn’t end well. It’s all part of gaining experience.”
Ed Jones – #19 Boy Scouts of America Honda
“It was a difficult race. The approach we took with the set up made it really hard to make any progress unless the cars in front made mistakes. So, it was challenging. We still had a decent race but we were pretty unlucky with the timing of the yellows. We were looking alright in the end and then I made a mistake on the last pit stop and that cost us. That said, it was quite fun out there at some points. Some guys were quite aggressive and there were a few crazy moves so I was adjusting to that. It’s just frustrating because I feel that we should have had a decent result.”