News & Multimedia

Jourdain Disappointed As Legge Takes Final Spot In Grid

The frontstretch grandstand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway cast a shadow on the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car as the waning minutes of Old National Armed Forces Bump Day ticked away.

Nearby, Michel Jourdain Jr. buried his head in the shoulder of girlfriend, Concha, as the realization of not even presenting for a qualifying attempt for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race sunk in.

Also nearby, Katherine Legge sat in the No. 81 Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey-prepared Angie’s List car prepared to potentially bump her way back into the 33-car field for the May 26 race. On the bubble at 223.176 mph for her four-lap average speed set five hours earlier, she breathed easier when seeing crew members offering condolences to the veteran driver from Mexico.

The surprising turn of events propelled Legge, who logged her first track time in the morning practice session (24 laps), into her second Indianapolis 500. Less than 48 hours earlier, her Honda-powered car was a skeleton in the Gasoline Alley garage.

"I was kind of hoping for him that he would (find the speed) because it's always nicer when it's a fair fight, straight to say, then I could say Buddy (Lazier) would be on the bubble and then it would have been a hell of a Bump Day,” said Legge, who advanced eight positions to finish 22nd in her 500 Mile Race debut last May.

“As it is, we created a ton of drama, but it's never nice to see someone not get the opportunity to go out there and do that, so I feel gutter for him."

By Jourdain’s account, and supported by teammate Graham Rahal after turning five laps on the 2.5-mile oval late in the six-hour session, the car just wasn’t comfortable to drive. The chassis is the same last driven by Mike Conway at Long Beach in mid-April.

The crew changed springs, the undertray and rear wing through the afternoon in an effort to find a solution. Jourdain’s final lap of 214.421 mph with 27 minutes left solidified the decision.

“It was a hard all week,” said Jourdain, who posted a best lap of his 394 total (224.228 mph) in the morning session. “Right away, I thought the car to be very good, but when you only drive once a year it’s just so hard. Some days the car was getting better, some days not.

“We tried James (Jakes’) setup, as he was the fastest of the three cars. In Turn 4 of the first lap, I almost spun. I thought this car was undriveable. Then we put Graham (Rahal) in the car. His same setup, even his steering wheel. It was impossible for him to make a difference; he just couldn't drive it. He got to 204 and said, ‘I can't go any faster.’

“The only thing we could do was something stupid and put the car into the wall and not make the race anyway, so there's no point in that. We know, for sure, that there is something wrong with the car, for sure. Something bent, broken, loose, bending. Something is broken in the middle of the car we have not seen.

“First day I was having so much fun. The car was easy to drive and so much fun to drive. Today it was just impossible.”

Josef Newgarden (225.731 mph) was the fastest second-day qualifier in the No. 21 Century 21 car for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Also qualifying were Rahal (225.007), Sebastian Saavedra (224.929), rookie Tristan Vautier (224.873), Ana Beatriz (224.184), Pippa Mann (224.005), rookie Conor Daly (223.582) and Buddy Lazier (223.442).

“It’s something that we’re still not very satisfied, knowing that we had a lot more speed in the beginning of the week,” said Saavedra, driver of the No. 6 Dragon Racing car. “But this is how this place works. We’ve just got to continue to focus. It’s hard to be in Bump Day. Psychologically, it really affects everybody. But it doesn’t matter where you start here at the end. It’s just having a good race car and going from there.”

Lazier, 45, will make his 17th Indianapolis 500 start – the most in the field. The average speed of the field is 226.176 mph.

There are four first-year Indy 500 competitors and four females in the field.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Jourdain Disappointed As Legge Takes Final Spot In Grid
 
Jourdain Disappointed As Legge Takes Final Spot In Grid
The frontstretch grandstand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway cast a shadow on the No. 17 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car as the waning minutes of Old National Armed Forces Bump Day ticked away.
Read More
Related Media
Josef Newgarden
 
INDYCAR GP, Indy 500 Could Be Next Stops on Newgarden's Magical Victory Tour
Newgarden, from Hendersonville, Tennessee, enters the Month of May with powerful momentum. He took the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead with a victory April 23 in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and also won the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix on April 7. Newgarden is the only driver to win more than once this season, and his wins came on the varied terrain of a natural road course at Barber and a short oval at Phoenix.
Read More
Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
 
2019 Corvette ZR1 To Pace 102nd Indianapolis 500
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is the official Pace Car for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and will lead drivers to the green flag Sunday, May 27 for the 102nd Running of the legendary race.
Read More
Sam Hanks, 1957 Indianapolis 500
 
Memory Lane: Sam Hanks, 1957
The 1957 Indianapolis 500 featured a perfect marriage of a car and driver that needed someone to believe in them.
Read More
Max Chilton
 
Leading Opens Chilton's Eyes to New Obsession with Indianapolis 500
Like many drivers who weren’t born in America, Max Chilton admits he didn’t quite get the Indianapolis 500 during his rookie year in 2016.
Read More
500 Forward
 
500 Forward Returns To Celebrate The Month of May in Indy through Community Initiatives Including Art, Fashion
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is continuing a collaborative community effort, 500 Forward, to celebrate the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and the Month of May.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,618
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21