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Ed Jones endures roller coaster Indy 500 qualifying

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Things looked promising for Dale Coyne Racing rookie Ed Jones ahead of qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Both he and teammate Sebastien Bourdais were quick during Fast Friday (Bourdais went quickest while Jones ended up a solid ninth) and the team looked to be strong candidates to compete for the pole.

And the day began on a high note for Jones, who was among the first to qualify, after he completed his run at an average speed of 229.717 mph, good enough to put him fourth in the rundown at the time.

However, the mood quickly changed to one of great concern following a terrible crash by Bourdais, who broke loose before correcting and spearing the Turn 2 wall at a 45-degree angle. Bourdais’ car then got airborne and started to flip before reversing course and landing right-side up.

Although Bourdais never lost consciousness and was seen moving in the cockpit and talking to the Holmatro Safety Team, the incident served after the most frightening moment of the week and shook everyone at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “At the moment we’re just hoping the best for Seb after the crash,” Jones said in a press conference afterward.

In terms of qualifying, Jones’ day ended in disappointment. After ranking amongst the top nine speeds all day, he was bumped by JR Hildebrand, the second-to-last driver to make a run. Jones ended the day in tenth.

Though disappointed, Jones was clearly optimistic about his speed and the potential it shows. “It was good, solid. I really want to be in that top nine. After yesterday, I felt like we had a great chance at it. Maybe we didn’t get the car quite right today, it was quite loose for me so I had quite a few corrections,” Jones said of his qualifying run.

Jones added that going out early ultimately proved to be a disadvantage. “It’s frustrating to have to be the second to last car out. We waited for so long, staying up there. I think the conditions obviously changed at the end. I think the track got better. So it was frustrating,” he detailed.

Qualifying continues tomorrow at 2:45 p.m.

Follow Kyle Lavigne.

IMSA at Mid-Ohio Sunday: How to watch, schedules, TV, stream info

IMSA Mid-Ohio schedule
IMSA
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The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to a sprint as the circuit enters the stretch run of the 2020 season with a packed weekend schedule at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge will be a two-hour, 40-minute race around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio, for the DPi, GTLM and GTD classes.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar teams will practice Friday and Saturday. Qualifying will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday before a 2 p.m. green flag (same-day delay 11 p.m. ET, NBCSN; streaming on NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold) for the headlining race of a busy weekend.

There will be eight other races at Mid-Ohio across four series: the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The GTLM class of IMSA’s top series will be short two entries with Porsche pulling out because of positive COVID-19 tests at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

This will mark the seventh race of the season. After Mid-Ohio, there are three events left for the premier DPi and four for the GT division, including two of the year’s longest (the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring season finale).

Here are the details for IMSA this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

TV:  11 p.m. (same-day delay), NBCSN (streaming link); 2 p.m. NBC Sports App (streaming link) / TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

STREAM: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live flag to flag starting at 2 p.m.)

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, as well as SiriusXM

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours and 40 minutes around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 81 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here for which WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams are racing at Mid-Ohio


IMSA Mid-Ohio weekend schedule

Friday

6:10-7:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Saturday

10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Sunday

8-9:05 a.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

2 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge