Bristol: Jerry Nadeau preview

Nadeau ready for Bristol challenge. BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 19, 2002) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau feels the excitement as the NASCAR Winston Cup series heads to one of the circuit's most popular venues - Bristol Motor Speedway - where...

Nadeau ready for Bristol challenge.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 19, 2002) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau feels the excitement as the NASCAR Winston Cup series heads to one of the circuit's most popular venues - Bristol Motor Speedway - where pulsating excitement is non-stop from the time the green flag drops to the waving of the checkered flag.

Sunday's event - the 2,000th career NASCAR race -- is once again expected to produce the continuous drama when the 43 drivers take to the .533-mile oval for the Food City 500 (266.5 miles, 500 laps).

"Hang on, stay as clean as possible and make sure you're on the lead lap as the race winds down," said Nadeau, pilot of the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac Grand Prix. "If you can do all of that, then you're going to have a good shot at winning. And don't forget, you're also going to need plenty of luck to stay out of trouble."

In an event that sometimes resembles a slam, bang demolition derby-style of race, drivers, including Nadeau, do rave about the half-mile short track that is surrounded by nearly 150,000 rabid NASCAR fans.

"Short tracks were instrumental in the growth of NASCAR," commented Nadeau. "These are fun races, but they do take a lot out of you. You cannot lose focus for one second - if you do -- you're going to be in the wall or making contact with some other car. It's always an exciting time when we go to Bristol."

Nadeau has proved that he can handle the Bristol challenge. Last year at the March race, he finished 8th.

"Many things have to come together to be successful at Bristol," said Nadeau. "First, you need a strong qualifying run to get track position. Then it comes down to patience, handling, tire wear, pit strategy and luck."

And speaking of luck, that is something the U.S. Army team hasn't had much of in the early part of the season.

"Luck is part of the game, but in the end, you have to make your own breaks," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "We had a problem last week in Darlington that shouldn't have happened (broken oil pressure fitting). We had a great racecar and came up quite a bit short. We're disappointed, but not too discouraged because we know we're running better than what the results are showing."

-mb2m-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jerry Nadeau