As the latest driver to fill the road- and street-only role in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Chevrolet, Ed Jones enters the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season focused on expanding his schedule as early as this year.
Chip Ganassi Racing put Felix Rosenqvist in its second entry for 2019 after Jones’ single season with the team culminated in a 13th-place championship finishing position — one spot better than the result of his rookie season with Dale Coyne Racing the previous year.
Signed up to run all races but the ovals in a technical partnership between Scuderia Corsa and Carpenter, Jones will begin his third season as an IndyCar driver on a path that could take the Italian team and himself to full-time competition.
“Things can always change,” Jones told The Apex before the beginning of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend. “If we have a great first half of the season — fortunately, Indy is the first oval and it’s a long time until we get to the next one, so if things are going well, I see no reason why we wouldn’t do the whole season.”
From the season opener at St. Petersburg up to the second oval round of 2018, Jones achieved an average finishing position of 14th, brought down by a 20th-place finish at ISM Raceway and consecutive results of 20th, 22nd and 31st at Barber Motorsports Park and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With team owner Carpenter in the No. 20 for the ovals, a stronger first half of the 2019 season could lead to Jones’ separate Indianapolis entry showing up at other oval rounds this year, enabling the Dubai native to earn more driver’s championship points.
“Again, we just have to go race by race,” Jones continued. “I hope to get great results, keep pushing for that and try to run the full season. In the future, that’s definitely the plan.”
Jones started 17th and finished eighth at St. Pete a year ago. He’ll line up against 23 other drivers at the temporary street circuit to begin his currently incomplete 2019 season March 10.