Late crash deprives Ed Jones of good finish in Phoenix Grand Prix

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Ed Jones was running second with 30 laps remaining.

Chip Ganassi had just finished singing his praises when NBCSN cut to a side-by-side commercial, focusing on the leader Josef Newgarden.

“It’s just a matter of hitting his marks. He’s had a pretty much trouble-free night,” Ganassi said in a televised interview before the commercial break.

By the time the screen was once again filled with racing action, Jones’ No. 10 Honda was wedged against the turn four wall.

Jones’ position on the track was due in part to decisions made by his race strategist.

“We were looking at tire degradation; what the other guys were doing,” Ganassi said. “It was really a matter of getting him out in the open – in the clear from the stop. We didn’t want to put him in traffic.

But traffic is unavoidable on a one-mile oval where the leaders are circling at more than 175 m.p.h.

While trying to get around Spencer Pigot, who was two laps down at the time, Jones got his right-side tires in the marbles and shot into the wall.

“(The race) was a lot better than I expected,” Jones said from the infield after the race. “We had great pit stops, kept moving up places, ran second with 27 laps to go.

“And then I caught a backmarker: Pigot. I passed him early on in the race, so I knew how to get around him and didn’t want to take any risks. But I got into (turn) three and as soon as I turned in, the car went straight up into the wall.”

Jones finished 20th, 22 laps off the pace.

To see what happened to Jones in traffic, watch the video above.