- Jerry Nadeau
Jerry Nadeau Born September 9, 1970
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career 177 races run over 7 years Best finish 17th - 2001 (Winston Cup) First race 1997 Miller 400 (Michigan) Last race 2003 Auto Club 500 (California) First win 2000 NAPA 500 (Atlanta) Last win 2000 NAPA 500 (Atlanta) Wins Top tens Poles 1 19 0 NASCAR Nationwide Series career 8 races run over 3 years First race 1995 Sundrop 400 (Hickory) Last race 2002 Little Trees 300 (Lowe's) Wins Top tens Poles 0 0 0
Nadeau's NASCAR career began in 1995 in the Busch Series. He made his debut at Hickory Motor Speedway in the #15 Buss Fuses Ford Thunderbird and ran five races that season with a best finish of nineteenth at Myrtle Beach Speedway. He ran a pair of Busch races the following season in the #59 Winmiser Chevy, but 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. 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.
Nadeau started the 2003 season as the driver of the MB2/MBV Motorsports #01 United States Army Pontiac, and quickly had a fifth-place finish at Texas. On May 2, 2003, during a practice session at Richmond International Raceway for the Pontiac Excitement 400, Nadeau spun in turn one and hit the wall driver's side first at high speed. Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, and several broken ribs. Nadeau has not raced since.
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.
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