It’s hard not to feel for Michel Jourdain Jr. this Monday. Jourdain was the only driver who failed to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, as he battled an ill-handling car all week for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Jourdain is one of the nicest, most genuine people in the IndyCar community, and he has been a great friend for many of the veterans from his full-time years spent in CART from 1996 through 2004.
He won twice in the 2003 CART series, driving for Bobby Rahal, and finished third in the championship, ahead of such luminaries as Sebastien Bourdais, Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia, Jimmy Vasser, and then-rookie and current IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Indy has bitten some of open-wheel racing’s most successful drivers in qualifying. Just since 2008, the year of open-wheel unification, race winners in CART or the IRL who have failed to qualify include Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway and Patrick Carpentier (2011), Paul Tracy and Jaques Lazier (2010), Tagliani and Buddy Lazier (2009) and Mario Dominguez and Max Papis (2008).
It was no surprise, then, that tweets of support flowed in for Jourdain throughout Sunday and into Monday from the veterans who raced against Jourdain in his full-time years and a year ago at Indy, when he made a comeback to the 500 after a 16-year hiatus.
- Dario Franchitti (@dariofranchitti): Please spare a though for our friend @MichelJourdain who through no fault of his own missed the race toady.. Feel bad for him and his team
- Sebastien Bourdais (@BourdaisonTrack): @MichelJourdain I feel for you bud. You didn’t deserve that. I hope to see you around soon and back next year.
- Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9): @dariofranchitti @MichelJourdain feel really bummed for ya mate! Your a top man!
- Ryan Hunter-Reay (@ryanhunterreay): Feeling for @MichelJourdain, keep your head up buddy. Not much you could’ve done. You’re only as fast as the horse you’re riding.
- Graham Rahal (@grahamrahal): Good day for us, bad day for our team. Feeling for @MichelJourdain. His car simply wasnt right. I drove it w/ my setup and it was terrible.
- Jimmy Vasser (@jimmyvasser): Well said RT @dariofranchitti: Please spare a though for our friend @MichelJourdain who through no fault of his own missed the race toady..