Skip to content

Despite team effort, Jourdain fails to get into Indy 500

May 19, 2013, 8:01 PM EDT

Michel Jourdain Jr AP

With roughly 15 minutes remaining on Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the seemingly inevitable decision was made by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to stop the desperate effort to get Michel Jourdain, Jr. into the 97th Indianapolis 500.

But while the call may have been inevitable, it was no less harder to take for Jourdain. He climbed out of his No. 17 Office Depot Mexico Honda and tried to find solace in the arms of his wife, Nora, burying his head in her shoulder.

With nine spots on the “500” grid up for grabs today and 10 drivers aiming to fill them, one of those drivers was going to go home unhappy this evening at 6 p.m. ET. And that driver was Jourdain, who never found the speed he needed to break into the field despite help from his entire team, including RLL full-time drivers James Jakes and Graham Rahal.

“We tried this morning, James’ setup,” said Jourdain. “He was the fastest of the three cars, and coming out of Turn 4, first lap, I almost spun, and I felt this car isn’t drivable. We put Graham in the car with his exact same setup and everything — [his] steering wheel is in, everything, you know. It was impossible for him to feel a difference. Just couldn’t drive it. He couldn’t go — he came in, got to 204 [miles per hour] and he said, ‘I’m not going any faster.'”

Jourdain indicated that something was structurally wrong with the car (“Something’s bent, broken, bending, loose,” he said), which was raced last month for RLL at Long Beach. He ruled out any issues with the tub itself and said that a backup chassis was never an option for him.

No matter what changes were made to his primary No. 17 Honda on Bump Day, Jourdain was still having to lift noticeably in the corners on late practice runs as he looked for any sort of feel in the cockpit.

The “500” was to be Jourdain’s only race of 2013, but now, he’ll have to watch from afar.

“My sponsors trusted me with this and [it was] a very big project,” he said. “[There's a] lot of people coming from Mexico next week for this, so it’s hard.”

Latest Posts
  1. Jeff Gordon set for 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup start in Atlanta

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Bob Brodbeck) AP

    Jeff Gordon will make his 750th Sprint Cup start at Atlanta this weekend, the site of his first in 1992, and also the site of another record he’ll hit next year.

  2. Red Bull: Rocquelin promoted, Vettel set for another new chassis

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    RocquelinVettel Getty Images

    Sebastian Vettel’s getting a new chassis for Monza, and a new engineer for 2015 at Red Bull.

  3. Fontana flashback: Gil de Ferran’s 241-plus mph record lap in 2000 (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    lg_deferran_ap_01 AP

    With Fontana this weekend, we take a look back at Gil de Ferran’s closed course speed record in 2000.

  4. Sports car racing may be confusing, but that’s no excuse for this graphic (PHOTOS)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

    Patrick Dempsey AP

    Promotional poster for the COTA FIA WEC event features some rather bizarre car choices to promote the race.

  5. IndyCar: New Orleans race to be announced today; AP reveals April 12 date

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    indynola

    IndyCar will formally confirm the addition of New Orleans to its 2015 schedule later Wednesday.

  6. NASCAR schedule reveals some potential 2015 IndyCar schedule hints; Texas IndyCar returns

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:23 AM EDT

    TorontoAnalysis Getty Images

    MotorSportsTalk sorts out fact from fiction regarding the yet-to-be-revealed 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, based on hints from today’s NASCAR schedule release.

  7. Kevin Harvick riled at Tony Stewart portrayal in Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

    Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart together in happier times at Phoenix earlier this season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP

    NASCAR star Kevin Harvick has never been afraid to speak his mind. But the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy has caused him to be more judicious in what he says and also “frustrated” at how the media has dealt with the entire incident.

  8. Like a good stew, 2015 Sprint Cup schedule and new Chase format need time to simmer for best taste

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT

    nascar logo 2014 Getty Images

    The long-awaited release of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule was much less of the surprise many expected. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  9. NASCAR: Keselowski’s Truck team among 3 penalized after Bristol

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Brad Keselowski AP

    Brad Keselowski won his first Camping World Truck Series race last Thursday at Bristol, but his and two other teams have been dinged by NASCAR after their Trucks failed post-race height requirements.

  10. NASCAR AMERICA: How did the 2015 schedule come together? (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race Getty Images

    Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president of racing operations, explains the factors that influence how the final racing schedule is created.

  11. NASCAR AMERICA: Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton break down 2015 schedule (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

    Bojangles' Southern 500 Getty Images

    The NASCAR AMERICA crew make their initial observations of the 2015 Sprint Cup docket (Hint: They’re really happy about Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend).

  12. NASCAR announces 2015 Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series schedules (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Aaron's 499 Getty Images

    NBC Sports Group begins its 2015 NASCAR race coverage on July 4th (Nationwide) and 5th (Sprint Cup) from Daytona International Speedway.

  13. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA reveals 2015 schedule at 5 p.m. ET

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race Getty Images

    The big moment is almost here. Click this post for stream links to today’s special edition of NASCAR AMERICA – featuring the announcement of the 2015 NASCAR schedule!

  14. Matt Kenseth, wife Katie debut “Race Against Bullying” children’s book

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Credit: Joe Gibbs Racing Credit: Joe Gibbs Racing

    It’s the first of a planned four-book series that’s designed to help kids be more self-confident and make good choices.

  15. Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    AdvoCare 500 Getty Images

    Notes and numbers to keep in mind as NASCAR sets up shop in Atlanta this weekend.

  16. Lamborghini Huracán revealed for Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo 2015

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Photo: Lamborghini Photo: Lamborghini

    The new Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo has been officially revealed in the last week, and will race in the single-make Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series.

  17. FIA won’t punish Nico Rosberg after Belgian GP incident with Lewis Hamilton

    Aug 26, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium Getty Images

    Hamilton also vows that he won’t be out for revenge against Rosberg at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix.

  18. Scott Dixon, Bobby Unser two legends in different ways, now equal on wins

    Aug 26, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT

    Iowa Corn Indy 300 - Day 1 Getty Images

    With 35th win, Scott Dixon ties Bobby Unser on the all-time win list.

  19. Could Cosworth be close to Indy engine return? We’ll know shortly

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Photo: Cosworth Photo: Cosworth

    We should know within the next few weeks whether Cosworth’s intentions to align with an OEM will become a reality for IndyCar. Meanwhile, there’s plenty coming from the company.

  20. Reports: Van der Garde closing on 2015 Sauber drive

    Aug 26, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    vdgVER Getty Images

    Dutch media peg Giedo van der Garde as close to a 2015 race seat with Sauber.

Video from NASCAR America

Breaking down the 2015 schedule
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Busch (2064)
  2. J. Gordon (2028)
  3. K. Harvick (1510)
  4. K. Larson (1475)
  5. B. Keselowski (1217)
  1. R. Blaney (1196)
  2. C. Elliott (1049)
  3. J. Logano (982)
  4. A. Almirola (813)
  5. C. Mears (810)