At one point, the No. 10 Honda with Chip Ganassi Racing was one of the most coveted seats in all of racing. Between Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti, the car won 19 races from 2006 through 2012. It also had 61 top five finishes and 87 top 10’s in 114 starts in that time frame. Franchitti, won the 2009, 2010 and 2011 championships with it.
Unfortunately, from 2013 on, that car has one win in the last 103 races.
Tony Kanaan took it over in 2014 and won the season finale at Fontana that year. That was his lone win in that car in four years and the lone victory for the No. 10 entry since Franchitti’s win in the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
From 2014 through 2017, Kanaan had just one win, 20 top five finishes and 41 top 10’s. That’s an average of five top fives and 10 top 10’s per season.
Ed Jones drove the car in 2018 and scored just two top five finishes. But, he did have eight top 10’s though. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep him in the ride for 2019. The team signed Felix Rosenqvist to replace Jones who he’s the one who replace Kanaan.
For an eight year span, the car had just two drivers. For the last three years, they’ve had three different ones.
Will Rosenqvist bring this car back to glory?
He certainly has a shot as he was impressive in his limited time in Indy Lights and was extremely good in his two tests at Mid-Ohio. But, the pressure is on though.
What about for Jones? What’s next?
He will likely go to the top of the free agent board as I think he got a bit of a raw deal with Ganassi. He has talent but only had one year to show it. In 2017, he should have won the Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500 but did take away series Rookie of the Year honors for the season. He had one top five finish (3rd in the ‘500) and five top 10’s in his rookie campaign. Last year, he improved both of those numbers to two and eight. He has a chance to be good if given the time. The unfortunate part is, where?
Carlin would be a start. Trevor Carlin said that he thinks that both Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball will return but if one of them don’t, I can see Jones in one of the seat. Also, Carlin said that there’s a 70-percent chance of expansion to a third full time car. Jones has to be on top of their list.
Jones, drove for Carlin in F3 in 2014 and in the Indy Lights Series in both 2015 and 2016. He won his first three starts of his Indy Lights career as well as the 2016 championship. It’s a logical fit to return.
Juncos would be a great pickup as would returning to Dale Coyne Racing in his No. 19 seat. He drove that car in 2017 and had a handshake deal for return before jumping ship to Ganassi last minute last October. Did that decision cost him a shot of returning?
If so, Carlin or Juncos are his best bets.