Nadeau Released as Driver of No. 13 Ford

Nadeau released as driver of No. 13 Ford by Shawn A. Akers Jerry Nadeau's relationship with Bill Elliott didn't last long. On Wednesday, after a less-than-spectacular first half of the 1998 season, the 27-year-old NASCAR Winston Cup rookie...

Nadeau released as driver of No. 13 Ford by Shawn A. Akers

Jerry Nadeau's relationship with Bill Elliott didn't last long. On Wednesday, after a less-than-spectacular first half of the 1998 season, the 27-year-old NASCAR Winston Cup rookie was released from his duties as driver of Elliott's and NFL quarterback Dan Marino's No. 13 FirstPlus Ford Taurus on Wednesday.

In 14 NASCAR Winston Cup starts this season (he missed qualifying for four races), Nadeau managed on a best finish of 21st, both in the season-opening Daytona 500 and in the Pocono 500 in late June.

Nadeau was a distant second to Kenny Irwin in the running for the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. No replacement driver was named Wednesday, but the team plans to have a driver in place for the next Winston Cup race at Pocono on July 26.

"We are midway through the season and some of our goals and expectations as a team have not yet been met,'' Elliott said. "After lengthy discussions, we evaluated our program and decided a change needed to be made. We wish nothing but success for Jerry's future."

Nadeau's final start came last Sunday, when he finished 27th at Loudon, N.H. His best start of the year came at Sears Point, where he sat on the outside Bud Pole. However, he finished last following a crash on lap 13.

"It was pretty devastating -- a big surprise," Nadeau told RPM 2Night. "We had had some communication problems right before this happened. I was getting ready to test the car at Indianapolis. I thought we were making progress."

Despite the setback, the Danbury, Conn., native said he isn't concered about his racing future at this point in time.

"I've already had calls from other team owners, and it hasn't even been 24 hours since everything changed," said Nadeau. "My goal is to not miss a Winston Cup race. If I'm not driving, I will at least be at every track to work on plans for 1999. We have a weekend off before the next race at Pocono, and I hope to be driving for another quality team by then."

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series is off this weekend and will continue on July 26 with the Pennsylvania 500 at Long Pond, Pa.

Nadeau said the split with Elliott wasn't a fiery one.

"I don't have any ill feelings toward Bill Elliott," he said. "Both of us have to do what's best for ourselves in order to keep racing. I've learned enough over the past two years to know that the game in Winston Cup racing, whether on the track or off, is surviving. And that's exactly what I plan to do.

"Many people have told me that I have the ability to win races. I'm looking forward to getting the chance to prove them right."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jerry Nadeau