MB2 Hires Nemechek for 2004; Recovery Driving Program in Place for Nadeau.
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2003) -- As Jerry Nadeau continues to recover from a head injury he suffered in a May 2 accident at Richmond International Raceway, MB2 Motorsports announced today that Joe Nemechek has agreed to drive the No. 01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season and in the final four races of the 2003 season.
MB2 Motorsports also announcedit has teamed with Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports to establish a recovery driving program for Nadeau that will most likely include a mixture of Nextel Cup, Busch and ARCA races during the 2004 season.J
"We were faced with circumstances that none of us wished we had to deal with," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "But due to the reality of our current situation, we felt in the best interests of Jerry and of the race team this was the right path to take as we head into the 2004 season.J
"Jerry continues to make progress and once he is ready to return to driving, we'll have a program in place that will allow him to gradually make his comeback to Cup racing. The uncertainty of how long his full recovery will take is difficult for everyone, but Jerry is a young (33-years-old) and determined individual who has many years of racing ahead of him."
Frye added, "Joe will be a great addition to our team. He is a proven veteran who always gives 100 percent both on and off the track. We are happy that he will be part of helping in Jerry's recovery and I truly feel this is a win-win scenario for everyone associated in our organization."
Nadeau said he is frustrated at times by his recovery progress, but he is ready for the challenge and looks forward to the day when he will be able to get behind the wheel of a racecar and be competitive.
"I have repeatedly said that I will not rush back," said Nadeau. "I still have a ways to go, but I will get there.
"To be honest, the reality of not being able to come back sooner than I would have liked, is hard to take. But I want to do this right and I am grateful to MB2, Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to work my way back to the Cup series."
Nemechek, who has been racing full time on the NASCAR Cup circuit since 1994, most recently in the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports entry, has three career victories, including a win at this year's spring race in Richmond.J
"This is not the way any racer wants to get a ride," said Nemechek, a native of Lakeland, Fla. "But I am ready to jump into the 01 Pontiac and give it everything I have. It's a team that has plenty of potential and it will be an honor to drive a racecar representing the U.S. Army and USG Sheetrock Brand.
"Being able to drive for the Army team at the last four races will make for a smoother transition for the 2004 season," he added.
Nemechek, who owns the NEMCO Motorsports Busch team, said he his looking forward to being part of Nadeau's recovery driving program.
J "We all want Jerry back on the Cup side," said the 40-year-old Nemechek. "And I am happy to have my Busch team join MB2 Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports assisting in his racing program next year."
Prior to MB2's signing of Nemechek, Brian Vickers was scheduled to drive the 01 Army car at the final four races of the 2003 season -- Atlanta, Phoenix, Rockingham and Homestead- Miami.