This Week in Ford Racing special edition, Michel Jourdain, May 1, 2006 Roush Racing announced today a nine-race Craftsman Truck Series effort with Michel Jourdain, Jr. A native of Mexico City, Jourdain will pilot the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford ...
This Week in Ford Racing special edition, Michel Jourdain,
May 1, 2006
Roush Racing announced today a nine-race Craftsman Truck Series effort with Michel Jourdain, Jr. A native of Mexico City, Jourdain will pilot the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150 for nine races beginning with next month's event Mansfield Motorsports Park. Jourdain, who has 21 Busch Series starts to his credit, spoke about the opportunity to drive a Roush Racing Ford F-150 and the progress of his NASCAR career.
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.--50--Roush Racing Ford F-150
TALK ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO PILOT ONE OF ROUSH RACING'S FORD F-150S. "I'm very, very excited. Mainly, to be able to drive for Roush Racing is a big dream come true."
IS THIS NINE-RACE DEAL A SIGNAL THAT YOUR NASCAR CAREER IS STILL ON TRACK? "Yes, I think so. It's not like I spent five years in the Busch Series and I went down to the truck series. For many reasons we could not get a full Busch deal. It's ongoing, even last year, and it's very good to get these nine races. A lot of drivers, especially in the Roush organization, have gone to the Nextel Cup Series from the trucks. But, the plan is to do these nine races and for it to grow. I want to get back to the Busch Series as soon as possible. The plan is to get back in the Busch Series as soon as possible. We have some races with ppc Racing in the Busch Series this year and hopefully they grow into even more. Right now, the main thing is just to get back into the seat and do some racing again. It's important for me to not only race, but to be in good equipment at the same time, and this is another opportunity to allow me to do that."
DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THE DECISION YOU MADE TO TRANSITION TO NASCAR RACING FROM THE OPEN-WHEEL RANKS? "Still, to me, this is a sign that I made the right decision. I knew it was going to be hard. There have been some bumps in the road and I still expect more, but, to me, if it was easy everybody would do it, and right now NASCAR is very tough. A lot of drivers from all forms of racing want to be in NASCAR because it's the biggest thing there is right now. The Busch Series, with all of the Cup drivers and the Cup teams, it's just getting harder and harder. I think this is going to be very good for me to get back in the seat and get some driving time, and hopefully we get back to full-time in the Busch Series soon. The plan is to make it to the Cup Series."
WITH ALL OF ROUSH RACING'S RESOURCES, DO YOU FEEL THIS MIGHT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN FINDING A FULL-TIME SPONSOR? "I hope so, and to me right now the main focus is just to do good in these nine races. I'm sure I'm going to get good equipment and good people behind me, and hopefully we can get some good results and that can bring the sponsors and the full backing that we need to get full-time into a seat. With all off Roush Racing's resources, marketing and engineering, I think this is the best thing for my NASCAR career right now."
HAVE YOU DONE ANY TESTING IN A CRAFTSMAN TRUCK? "Never. I would like to do some testing, but from what I hear it's similar [to the Busch car], it just has more downforce and it being a little bit longer in wheelbase, it's a little bit more stable, which I hope helps me."
HINDSIGHT IS 20-20, BUT WITH ALL OF THE CUP DRIVERS COMPETING IN THE BUSCH SERIES ON THE REGULAR BASIS, IS THE TRUCK SERIES THE BEST PLACE TO START A NASCAR CAREER? "Maybe. Right now that's hard to tell. Maybe I can answer that better after some races, but right now it might be easier to say that because the Busch thing last year didn't work out. But, at the same time, at the time everything looked like we were doing the smartest thing. I don't like looking back. I'm looking ahead and I think this is the best thing that could have happened right now."
DO YOU VIEW YOURSELF AS A TRAILBLAZER, AS YOU TRY TO BECOME THE FIRST HISPANIC TO MAKE IT TO FULL-TIME COMPETITION IN THE NEXTEL CUP SERIES? "At the moment, I'm the Hispanic with the biggest chance to make it to Cup, but if I don't make it to Cup, to me, that's the main goal. That's why I'm here, so until I make it there I won't feel that I'm the first Hispanic really opening the trail."