Darlington: GM - Nadeau qualifying press conference

JERRY NADEAU, NO. 01 U.S. ARMY PONTIAC GRAND PRIX: ON TYING HIS BEST QUALIFYING RUN AT DARLINGTON WITH THE SAME TEAM AS BEFORE... "I've got the same crew chief and the same team, so I'm pretty excited. We were like 16th or 17th in practice. The...


ON TYING HIS BEST QUALIFYING RUN AT DARLINGTON WITH THE SAME TEAM AS BEFORE... "I've got the same crew chief and the same team, so I'm pretty excited. We were like 16th or 17th in practice. The last three or four weeks we've been fighting a really loose car. We've been going off of a lot of last year's notes and notes that Ryan (Pemberton) has done. This week we just totally changed the whole concept of the car. Even in practice I was fighting loose, so we did something right before qualifying. We said, 'It's either going to work or it's not going to work,' and boy, did it work. If I would have known I was going to run that good I think I could have given a shot to Elliott. But, all in all, it was a good run for the U.S. Army Pontiac. I'm happy for the guys.

"It's pretty interesting. I've qualified third here before one time and it was with Ryan, in a Pontiac and with the same team, so it's pretty neat to come back here and do the same thing."

ON THE PROSPECT OF DARLINGTON POSSIBLY LOSING A RACE "It's unfortunate. First off, I've got to say, this is probably one of the most funnest racetracks to race on I've ever raced on in my life. It's a challenging racetrack. It's a hard racetrack to get around. You're running inches away from the wall.

"I hate that. Of course, NASCAR is looking for a new prospect, a better place, more people. Obviously, this race - it doesn't fill up as much as a place like Texas or Charlotte or Atlanta. But, all in all, I wish there were more racetracks like Darlington because I think the configuration here is a lot of fun to race on, especially for drivers and I think it puts on a great show for the fans. I hate to lose a race, but obviously NASCAR has got to do what they've got to do."

HOW MUCH ARE YOU ABLE TO DRAW FROM THE PAST SUCCESS OF YOUR TEAMMATE JOHNNY BENSON AT PLACES LIKE THIS? "I've had great runs at Rockingham, too. I think we finished fifth there last year at one time. This place has always been a lot of fun for me. I haven't had great finishes. I think we finished eighth or ninth one time. But, it's just a fun, challenging racetrack. It puts a lot on the driver. Usually the guy that can stick it out a little bit far can tend to do well here.

"Johnny has been a great teammate - James Ince - all the guys there. I raced with those guys twice last year. It seems like James and Ryan are working really good together - sharing a lot of notes. Obviously, Johnny has run well at Rockingham. But, setup-wise, we're totally different. We're totally different across the scales - springs, shocks, setups. I think it's a matter of what the driver feels. But, it's good to go back and look at some of the notes that they've done because there are places that we've been bad that they can help us out on."

DID YOU DO A LOT OF RACE PRACTICE TODAY? "Yes we did. When we were doing our qualifying runs we did three qualifying runs and we struggled. We were like 16th and I said, 'Guys, let's just put this in race trim just in case it rains. Let's at least get it to where we can drive it and run well. 'We had some good practice runs. The guys did a good job. I was glad that, as a team, we said, 'Let's put it in practice mode and let's get it ready for the race.' We sat back, we went back to the trailer and we looked at our notes and we were like - we thought of something just crazy - 'Let's just do this and see if it works for qualifying,' and man, it worked. If I would have known how good it worked, like I said - I'm not saying I could have had the pole, but who knows? The guys did a good job. But, I am glad that we did some practice runs."

HOW MUCH DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO COMING TO A UNIQUE TRACK LIKE DARLINGTON? "I enjoy the mile and a half racetracks - don't get me wrong. I like Atlanta. I like Charlotte. But, by God, this is fun. This, to me, it changes everything. It's like going back to the old days when you were running a dirt track race and you're running against the wall and you're beating and banging. This is that kind of racetrack. You are running literally inches away from the wall at 150, 160 miles an hour and you've got 43 of the best guys. This is a fun racetrack to race on. I wish there were five or 10 more of these racetracks, instead of Vegas and all these other racetracks that are all the same. This is a fun racetrack. It's just too bad it's in the area it's at. Nothing against Darlington. Obviously, NASCAR wants to see more fans and more people. I wish there were more racetracks like this. This is a great racetrack. When I first came here I had a blast. Of course, I got my first tire marks or my first taste of the wall a few times, but this is a real racetrack, right here."

WHY DO YOU THINK EVERYONE IS BUILDING THE SAME TYPE RACETRACKS THESE DAYS? "I imagine the seats. I don't know. I imagine just getting more seats. Obviously, we're filling up a lot of racetracks. It's hard to say.


"Last week at Atlanta they didn't fill up all the seats, so that was kind of weird. I'm not sure what is going on there. But, obviously, people are looking at some of these racetracks and I think they need to look at these racetracks more than Vegas and the 'cookie-cutter' racetracks. This and Rockingham are probably two of the funnest racetracks to race on as a driver - and Bristol, of course. Bristol is fun to race on. Obviously, you don't get a lot of finishes there because of the wrecks. But, all in all, this is more of a driver's racetrack and I think drivers enjoy this racetrack more than anything else."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup