Patrick Racing Nabs PJ Jones, Swift Chassis For '99 Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - Patrick Racing announced today that PJ Jones has been signed to drive the ...
Patrick Racing Nabs PJ Jones, Swift Chassis For '99
Laguna Seca (September 11, 1998) - Patrick Racing announced today that PJ Jones has been signed to drive the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing car during the 1999 FedEx Championship Series season.
Jones, who will begin his fourth CART season in '99, will team with Adrian Fernandez in a two-car effort for Patrick Racing. Fernandez will drive the #40 Tecate/Quaker State vehicle.
Jones, 29, has spent the last three seasons with Dan Gurney's All American Racers team. The California native, who resides in Phoenix Arizona, is the eldest son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones. Jones, who has successfully competed in the IMSA GTP Series, has started 41 CART events. His best finish is ninth in Detroit in 1996.
"We are very pleased to be able to bring PJ on board with Patrick Racing. We have followed his career closely over the last few years and believe that he is capable of competing for a championship next year and for many years to come," said U.E."Pat" Patrick.
Charles W. Szuluk, President of Visteon Automotive Systems, commenting on the signing of Jones said, "We welcome PJ to the Visteon/Patrick Racing team and look forward to his contributions as we enter the 1999 season. We are looking forward to a very exciting year and season."
Patrick Racing also announced that the team would campaign a Swift chassis with Firestone tires next year. The team is expected to continue running Ford engines in '99. Patrick Racing, which has run a Reynard chassis the last two seasons, will become the third team to run the Swift chassis since its introduction in 1997 (Newman/Haas Racing was the first team to race the chassis. Della Penna Motosports joined Newman/Haas this year).
"This was not a spur of the moment decision. We spent a lot of time with the engineers at Swift and with Carl Haas. We carefully thought out the decision. We were not unhappy with the Reynard chassis, in fact we have enjoyed considerable success. We just felt that entering its third year the Swift has a very strong potential. At this level of racing you have to be ahead of the curve in terms of the package you run because the combination you put together is critical to the performance of the team. We are also very comfortable with the decision because of our long association with Carl and his reputation for integrity, " said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee.
Patrick Racing is in its 26th year of competition. It is one of the most successful teams in the history of Indy car racing with 38 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships. Team owner U.E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Series which has produced much of the top young talent now competing in the FedEx Championship Series.
Source: CART Online