It’s highly doubtful that Michel Jourdain Jr will feel inclined to buy Kyle Busch a Corona Light anytime in the foreseeable future, and it’s not because Busch is under the legal U.S. drinking age.
On lap 53 of the 80-lap NASCAR Busch Series event in Mexico City, Busch attempted a pass on local driver Michel Jourdain Jr in turn 8. Jourdain wasn’t willing to give up the lead quite yet as he left Busch with absolutely no room on the inside. Instead of patiently waiting for a more opportune time to pass, Busch forced his way to the inside of Jourdain’s Roshfrans Oil Ford Fusion. The end result was a totaled car for Jourdain, and a valiant comeback for Busch who rallied back to finish seventh after he was sent to the back of the pack for speeding down pit road.
Not only was Jourdain visibly exasperated, but also the Mexican-dominant crowd in the grandstands incessantly divulged their discontent towards Busch with berating jeers. What he did was almost equivalent to wrecking Dale Earnhardt Jr at Charlotte or Tony Stewart at Indianapolis. Even though Busch was somewhat apologetic, the fact remains that he not only took out one of the fan favorites, but himself as well.
Busch clearly had the car to beat and could have likely been the one celebrating instead of Denny Hamlin. With fresher tires and some 25-plus laps to go, it would have been sensible for Busch to patiently maneuver his way into the lead instead of forcing the issue.
Recently, Busch’s driving style has been disparaged by several of the Nextel Cup drivers, Tony Stewart in particular. While Busch is easily in the same class as Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, and Denny Hamlin as one of most talented young drivers in NASCAR, he continues to make himself susceptible to criticism with his over-aggressiveness. And it is incidents such as the one that transpired Sunday in Mexico that has the fans, the media, and other drivers on his case.
While Busch was 95% at fault, Jourdain could have given Busch a little more room. Jourdain has been driving racecars at different levels for years and should have realized that the driver behind him had fresher tires and was conspicuously quicker. It was inevitable that Busch was going to eventually bypass him. While Busch is for the most part to blame, Jourdain could have prevented the skirmish by allowing the faster car a little more room.