UNOH Grad Tom Jones Reaches Indy 500 Victory Lane

Posted on Friday, June 07, 2024


Photo Credit: Jonah Werbelow

Written by Contributing Columnist Jonah Werbelow

During the month of May, many chase racing immortality. For one UNOH graduate, he had his sights set even higher. Winning the Indianapolis 500 is no small feat in itself. But back-to-back trips to the winner's circle is a feat not done by any driver or car in 22 years. 

Winning the Indy 500 takes a special formula: a great driver, a fast and reliable race car, a good setup, fast pit stops, luck, and, of course, an all-star crew of technicians to make it all happen.

In 2023, Joseph Newgarden would win the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. In 2024, he would do it again. One of those all-star crew members is 34-year-old UNOH High-Performance motorsports graduate Tom Jones. 

Tom's journey to Indy 500 history started when he graduated from the University of Northwestern Ohio with a degree in High Performance Motorsports in 2012.  He began his career as a fabricator for NASCAR’s Furniture Row Racing until their closure in 2018. From there, Jones moved to Team Penske as a fabricator for their Xfinity and Cup teams. When NASCAR switched to the 7th-gen car, Jones moved to the INDYCAR side of Team Penske, transitioning into his current role as Fabricator, Tire Specialist, and Air Jack Man on Josef Newgarden’s car. His ultimate goal is to be part of the team to win the INDYCAR series championship.

“It still has yet to fully sink in,” said Jones after the dust settled from Newgarden’s win. “We were back at the hotel by 1:00 am after the race. We have been so busy that it's all been a blur. When we have our day off, I think the magnitude of what we did will sink in.”

Team Penske statistics and records from the 2024 Indy 500:

  • This is the first back-to-back win at the Indy 500 since 2002. The last driver to do it was Helio Castroneves, also with Team Penske.
  • Best pit crew performance in the “Pit Stop Challenge”.
  • This is the first time the Pit Stop Challenge and the race have been won by the same team since 2003.
  • This is Team Penske's second front-row lockout. The last time Team Penske locked out the front row was in 1988.

Category: Applied Technologies

Keywords: High Performance Motorsports, Indycar, Indy 500

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Last updated: 06/07/2024