We all knew on Pole Day that one car wouldn’t be making this year’s Indy 500 when Sam Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports signed driver Katherine Legge. She would be the 34th car/driver combination to try and make the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Unfortunately, one driver would have to go home. That driver was Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing’s Michel Jourdain Jr.
The team was very slow yesterday and could barely get up to the 220 mph range. They had all night and morning to try and get a combination right for the 37-year old Mexican driver but nothing suited him.
The team only completed 39 Laps today which is inexcusable.
The field was set at 12:59PM. Jourdain and RLL had one-hour this morning and five hours this afternoon to get up to speed. He said they tried setups from his teammates and he didn’t like those either. The fastest he got to was 219.843 mph. The bubble speed he needed to top was 223.176 mph set by Katherine Legge.
What I don’t understand is he had both backup cars from Graham Rahal and James Jakes. Each car including Jourdain’s had three attempts today. That’s NINE attempts to make the field.
Why on earth did RLL not get every car and all hands on deck to get this car in the field?
He could have thrown every combination imaginable at this. This falls on both the driver and team. Why not make attempts at making the field? This is the biggest race in the world.
They didn’t even make an effort. Not one attempt.
Jourdain really got the short end of the stick. His team only made the 39 Laps today, 19 on Pole Day and 16 on Fast Friday. Compare that to his teammates Rahal and Jakes who made 123 and 118 Laps respectively on Bump Day alone.
This is now likely it for Jourdain as he has made two career Indy 500 starts. His first was in 1996 and the other came last year. He had finishes of 13th and 19th, respectively.
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