Jerry Nadeau

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Jerry Nadeau
FEMA - 599 - Photograph by Kevin Thorne taken on 11-20-2000 in Georgia.jpg
Nadeau after winning the 2000 NAPA 500
Born (1970-09-09) September 9, 1970 (age 44)
Danbury, Connecticut, United States
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
177 races run over 7 years
Best finish 17th (2001)
First race 1997 Miller 400 (Michigan)
Last race 2003 Auto Club 500 (California)
First win 2000 NAPA 500 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 19 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
8 races run over 3 years
Best finish 53rd (1995)
First race 1995 Sundrop 400 (Hickory)
Last race 2002 Little Trees 300 (Lowe's)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish 97th (1998)
First race 1998 GM Goodwrench Service Plus / AC Delco 300 (Phoenix)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Jerry Nadeau in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Jerry Nadeau (born September 9, 1970) is a retired race car driver from Danbury, Connecticut. Nadeau competed in the 1994 Barber Dodge Pro Series and the 1996 Formula Opel Euroseries.

Career[edit]

Nadeau's #13 owned by Dan Marino (1998)
Nadeau in the Melling Racing No. 9 at Dover, 1998

Nadeau was the winner of the 1992 Skip Barber Scholarship; he competed in the Zerex-Saab Pro Series in 1993 and 1994.[1]

Nadeau's NASCAR career began in 1995 in the Busch Series, driving the No. 15 Ford Thunderbird for T&G Racing.[1] After failing to qualify at Richmond International Raceway he made his series debut at Hickory Motor Speedway, finishing 21st; he competed in five additional races that season with a best finish of nineteenth at Myrtle Beach Speedway. He planned to run ten races in the Busch Series in 1996, in combination with a full season in the Formula Opel European Union Series Championship;[2] he would only run two races in the Busch Series, driving the No. 59 Winmiser Chevy for owner Lee Smith, and finished 39th in both races.

After returning from racing in Europe in 1997, Nadeau moved to the Winston Cup Series, and signed a five-race contract with Precision Products Racing to replace Morgan Shepherd in the #1 R+L Carriers/Cruisin' America Pontiac Grand Prix. He made all five races, including a ninth-place qualification at New Hampshire International Speedway, but failed to finish higher than thirtieth and was let go at the end of his contract when the team's sponsor expressed no interest in retaining him.[3] In 1998, he signed up to drive a full schedule in Winston Cup with Bill Elliott Racing to drive the #13 FirstPlus Financial Ford for a car owned by Dan Marino. He failed to qualify for two of the first seven races, and was let go from the team midway through the season. He was immediately picked up by Melling Racing to drive the #9 Cartoon Network Ford Taurus, and finished the season thirty-sixth in championship points, and third in the NASCAR Rookie of the Year points standings.

Nadeau returned to Melling in 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, earning his first top-ten finish at Talladega Superspeedway. Early in the 1999 season, he announced that he would be leaving Melling at the end of the year, and two weeks after placing fifth at Watkins Glen International, he moved to MB2 Motorsports to replace Ernie Irvan in the #36 M&M's Pontiac. In 2000, he drove the #25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, and after two fourth-place finishes, won the season-ending NAPA 500. Holigan was replaced by the United Auto Workers and Delphi Corporation in 2001, and although Nadeau did not win again, he placed a career-best seventeenth in points that season with ten top-ten finishes. He opened 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series with an eighth-place at Bristol, but failed to improve on that performance and was released from Hendrick. He filled in for Johnny Benson at MB2 for a pair of races, before leading twenty laps and almost winning at Infineon Raceway; leading 20 laps in the #44 Georgia Pacific/Brawny car before a rear end gear gave out on his Dodge. After another fill-in stint at Michael Waltrip Racing, Nadeau returned to the #44 Petty Dodge with the expectation that he would finish out the year until shoulder injuries ended his season from a go-kart accident.

Richmond crash[edit]

Nadeau started the 2003 season as the driver of the MB2/MBV Motorsports #01 United States Army Pontiac, and quickly had a fourth-place finish at Texas. On May 2, 2003, during a practice session at Richmond International Raceway for the Pontiac Excitement 400, Nadeau was leading the practice session when he suddenly swerved to avoid a slowing car, spun in turn one and hit the wall driver's side first at high speed. His car then slowly scraped across the wall for 50 feet before sliding to a complete stop.

After the hit in the wall, Jerry responded to his crew before falling unconscious. NASCAR red-flagged the track to help Jerry but found him unconscious, he had to be cut out of his car. Nadeau was airlifted to a local hospital in critical condition, only given a 6% chance of surviving the injuries. Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, a collapsed lung and several broken ribs. Prior to the crash, Nadeau was the fastest car on the track. Jason Keller raced for him at the Richmond race, Mike Skinner, Mike Wallace and Boris Said raced the 01 until the fall Martinsville Race, Joe Nemechek raced in the 01 for the remainder of the season and for the next few years being Nadeau's replacement. Nadeau has not raced in NASCAR since because his injuries are permanent and another hit can kill him.

After NASCAR[edit]

Nadeau worked with the Clay Andrews Racing Busch Series team as a mentor for rookie David Gilliland in 2006, who went on to win the Meijer 300 and earned a ride with Robert Yates Racing later that season. He later said in a Speed Channel interview in May 2006 that he will "more than likely not race in a Cup car again", but raced in the Old School Racing Champion’s Tour in 2008. For 2011, Nadeau became a mentor to truck series rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt, son of Kerry and grandson of Dale.

Personal life[edit]

Nadeau was married to Jada; they divorced following his accident.[4] They had a daughter, Natalie.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Busch Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nadeau gets Busch ride". The Hour (Norwalk, CT). January 6, 1995. p. 15. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  2. ^ Heuschkel, David (May 10, 1996). "Nadeau At Home In Loudon". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  3. ^ Adamczyk, Jay (July 22, 1997). "Past News, July 1997". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  4. ^ Mitchell, Charlie (April 29, 2007). "Nadeau continues to grapple with tough tests". The Sunday Hour (Norwalk, CT). p. B11. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 

External links[edit]