By: Spencer Neff
January 27, 2021
Another spot on the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series grid was filled Wednesday morning and in a bit of a recurring theme, it’s a reunion between driver and team.
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan announced that 2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Ed Jones will drive the team’s No. 18 entry, with SealMaster returning to sponsor the car for a fourth season. Over three years in the series, Jones has 47 starts to his credit.
“We’re very happy to have Ed Jones back with us and back in the NTT IndyCar Series this season,” Team Owner Dale Coyne noted.
“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.”
After winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship with Carlin Racing, the Dubai, United Arab Emirates native joined Dale Coyne Racing for his first IndyCar season and finished third at the Indianapolis 500.
“I’m really excited to join the Coyne Vasser Sullivan team for the 2021 NTT IndyCar season,” Jones expressed in today’s announcement.
“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.”
In 2018, Jones moved to Chip Ganassi Racing, equaling his best finish at Long Beach and Belle Isle Race 2. Jones’ last time in an IndyCar came in 2019, when he drove for Ed Carpenter Racing with support from Scuderia Corsa.
During his stint in the No. 20 entry on road and street courses, he also ran a one-off in a third ECR entry at the Indianapolis 500. During that one-off entry Jones equaled his best start from Belle Isle 2 in 2018 by starting fourth.
Jones did not run IndyCar in 2020 and his plans to run DTM (German touring cars) were put on hold due to travel restrictions.
For Coyne, Vasser-Sullivan and SealMaster, Jones will be their third driver in as many years. In 2018 and 2019, Sebastien Bourdais piloted the No. 18, winning in their first race together at St. Petersburg. Last year, 2019 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Santino Ferrucci piloted the No. 18, earning a fourth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500.
“We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with the team,” noted Jason Hedlesky, SealMaster Director of Franchise Development.
“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 steps into a different entry on his team but one that will be headed by Vasser, the 1996 CART Champion.
“We’re full steam ahead having Ed Jones join us, and taking over the driver responsibilities for the No. 18 Team SealMaster machine,” exclaimed Team Co-Owner James “Sulli” Sullivan.
“Ed has had some big moments in IndyCar, and we expect you’ll see some big moments with us together in 2021.”
At this team, there have been no confirmed plans for Dale Coyne Racing’s second entry.
Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR