Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the No. 10 Ford, was the highest finishing non-Cup competitor last weekend in the Aaron's 312 with his 10th-place finish. Jourdain, who entered the season without the guarantee of making the first five races based...
Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the No. 10 Ford, was the highest finishing non-Cup competitor last weekend in the Aaron's 312 with his 10th-place finish. Jourdain, who entered the season without the guarantee of making the first five races based upon the new guidelines for provisionals, is now solidly locked into the top 30 in owner points and is assured a spot in tomorrow's Pepsi 300.
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-10-ppc Racing Ford Taurus
"Last weekend I think we were pretty good. That doesn't mean that I should be expecting a top-10 every race. I think it shows that I'm getting up to speed good and I'm learning and adapting, and these guys are giving me good cars. I think I adapted very good to that track. I think there are going some tracks that are going to be a lot tougher to adapt. To me, the most important thing is to try to get solidly into the top 30. This weekend we don't have to worry about qualifying, but I want to get that out of the way for every race. We need to still finish the race, but also be good. I don't just want to be out there finishing to finish. I want to be out there running good."
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO 10, WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY RATE YOURSELF IN TERMS OF COMPETITIVENESS? "It's very, very hard to tell. Last weekend I felt like a seven, but right now I feel about like a three. Probably next weekend in Bristol I'm going to feel like -20, so I think every track and every car is so different at where I need to work at getting better. Here, the car is a little different. It's a little bit tighter and slower, so you have to try a little bit more, but it's OK."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO RUN IN THE TOP 10 LAST WEEKEND AFTER QUALIFYING SIXTH? "In all racing that I've done in my life, when you're running in the front it's so much easier. You have guys thinking more and winning the race and not making stupid moves, and I think that helped a lot, too, where I could just concentrate on going fast."
IS IT A MORE RELAXED ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR GARAGE STALL THIS WEEKEND KNOWING THAT YOU ARE GUARANTEED A SPOT IN TOMORROW'S RACE? "You still want to qualify good, especially for the first couple of laps of the race. We still try to make the car as good as possible, so I am trying to just concentrate on the car. It helps that we can concentrate more on race setup than qualifying setup, and I think that's where we can start getting better."
TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFYING FOR THE FIRST FIVE RACES OF THE SEASON. "It's something we thought we should be able to do. I guess people would have understood (if we didn't), but still it was not going to be OK. It would have been terrible, and for me making those first five races was very, very important. Not crashing in qualifying and having no mistakes to make the race was very important for our long-term goals."