Orleans 150 win a big boost for Nadeau By Shawn A. Akers LAS VEGAS (March 6, 1999) OK, so it wasn't the Daytona 500. But it might as well have been for Jerry Nadeau, who won Friday night's NASCAR Winston West Series Orleans 150 at Las Vegas...
Orleans 150 win a big boost for Nadeau By Shawn A. Akers
LAS VEGAS (March 6, 1999) OK, so it wasn't the Daytona 500. But it might as well have been for Jerry Nadeau, who won Friday night's NASCAR Winston West Series Orleans 150 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It had been so long since Nadeau had won a race of any kind -- let alone a NASCAR-affiliated event -- that the NASCAR Winston Cup Series regular needed a little confidence boost heading into Sunday's Las Vegas 400.
He got it Friday night, and he was able to defeat drivers such as Ron Hornaday, Ricky Craven and Rick Carelli.
"It's been a long time since I've won a race since getting into these stock cars," said Nadeau, who edged out Hornaday for the victory. "We were just fast and yeah, this does a lot confidence-wise. It's my first win, and it would be nice to do it again on Sunday."
Nadeau said he had hoped to just use the Orleans 150 as a "test" session for the Las Vegas 400. Last year as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series rookie, he and the No. 13 Ford team, owned by Bill Elliott and Dan Marino, failed to qualify for the race and logged just 10 laps on the track.
He went out Thursday and won the Bud Pole for the Orleans 150 with just him and Jeff Buice, his crew chief on the No. 9 Cartoon Network Ford, working on the car. The rest of his crew joined the effort Friday, and it parlayed into a victory.
"I think anybody that got in that thing could have done just as good as I did, but it was good for the morale of the team," Nadeau said. "These guys haven't won a race in a while and to have a win with Melling Engine Parts on the car, these guys are all sparked up."
After two races in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Nadeau is 21st in the point standings. He finished 11th in the season-opening Daytona 500, but struggled to a 31st-place performance in the Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina Speedway two weeks ago.
He'll start Sunday's main event from the eighth position, the outside of the fourth row, after a solid effort in Bud Pole Qualifying on Friday. Nadeau said he learned a lot about the race track during the NASCAR Winston West event and knows what to expect Sunday.
"We ran at night time on Friday, so the track was a little more grippier (Friday night) than it probably will be Sunday, but the overall chassis setup with the shock and spring combinations will be about the same," Nadeau said. "I think we learned a lot just because the car was really fast on old tires. I think we can use some of that and apply it to Sunday's race on our Winston Cup car.
"I think our cars are good enough to win, no doubt. If our strategy is good, our pit stops have gotta be good, then, yeah, we could win the race for sure."
Source: NASCAR Online