Nadeau comes long way in short time Kyle McDoniel SONOMA, Calif. (June 27, 1998) It's often hard to move from the back of the field to the front in road course racing, but Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Jerry Nadeau has come a...
Nadeau comes long way in short time
SONOMA, Calif. (June 27, 1998) It's often hard to move from the back of the field to the front in road course racing, but Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Jerry Nadeau has come a long way from his role last year at Sears Point Raceway.
After watching last year's race as a spotter for Morgan Shepherd, Nadeau will start the No. 13 First Plus Financial Ford on the front row for Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350 alongside Bud Pole Winner Jeff Gordon.
But don't think that Gordon is the only tough competition Nadeau has faced at Sears Point. Last year's spotter's duties on a hill above the track had him battling snakes.
"I think it was Buddy Parrot up there, who was spotting for Jeff Burton, and he caught one," Nadeau said. "He grabbed one by the tail and whipped it around and threw it back down the mountainside, but there are a few snakes up there."
Sunday, Nadeau will be up against the snaking turns at Sears Point. But his extensive road course experience should help.
"I mean, that's all I've done my whole life," Nadeau said. "I raced modifieds and dirt cars back home, but where I've won a lot of races and really shown well was in road racing. I won a lot of Barber Dodge races and won some Firestone Firehawk races and some endurance races down at Sebring. I spent a whole year in Europe in '96 racing Formula Opal cars and finished fifth in the championship, so I've got a road racing background."
After Friday's strong qualifying effort, the young driver is sure he doesn't want to spend any of Sunday working his way from the back of the pack.
"The big thing is to have a good start," Nadeau said. "If we can fall in behind Gordon or ahead of Gordon, our job is to stay there. We're going to have a pretty big task tomorrow because we're still fairly new as a team, but we're looking forward to a good race."
Source: NASCAR Online