Darlington: Jerry Nadeau preview

Nadeau looking for the clean finish he deserves. DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 12, 2003) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau hasn't set any lofty goals as he prepares for one of the toughest race tracks on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit -- he...

Nadeau looking for the clean finish he deserves.

DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 12, 2003) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau hasn't set any lofty goals as he prepares for one of the toughest race tracks on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit -- he only wants what he deserves.

"It's as simple as that," said the 32-year-old Nadeau. "Considering how many times we've been hit this year, we just want to have a clean finish right now and earn our result. You would think the bull's eye has been on our car. It's those mishaps that have really hurt us because our finishes really do not correlate with the performance we've had at the first four races."

Nadeau and his U.S. Army No. 01 Pontiac Grand Prix will be put to another test Sunday (March 16) during the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, the daunting facility with the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.

"It's a unique race track," said U.S. Army crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "It ranks in the top five for difficulty. The track is very abrasive, tires wear out and the car slips and slides around. But it is still a pretty fast track and that's why you have to get the driver comfortable there - he needs to be in control."

As always, Nadeau is ready and looks forward to the challenge, whether it's Darlington or any other of the circuits that host a Winston Cup event.

"They (race tracks) all have a personality of their own, but Darlington is special," said Nadeau. "We know it's tough, but we can handle it. Once again, we just want to run our race, stay clean and get the finish that we deserve."

Counting the Twin 125 qualifying race in Daytona, Nadeau's U.S. Army Pontiac has been involved in pit altercations at three of the five races and was spun out twice at another.

"They were all out of our control," said Pemberton. "And most of the incidents have happened late in the race, within the last pit window. You just can't recover when things happen that late in the day. If we could have had half of what we thought we were going to get, we would be much better off."

Nadeau has had finishes of 28th (Daytona), 26th (Rockingham), 22nd (Las Vegas) and 31st (Atlanta). Pit road mishaps in Daytona and Atlanta prevented him from better finishes and being hit twice from behind in Rockingham also hurt his finishing result.

"We know we're better and we want to prove it very soon, like this weekend in Darlington," said Nadeau.

-mb2m-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jerry Nadeau