Nadeau battles obstacles; finishes 14th. FONTANA, Calif. (April 27, 2003) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau fought through adversity and posted a respectable 14th place finish in Sunday's Auto Club 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at...
Nadeau battles obstacles; finishes 14th.
FONTANA, Calif. (April 27, 2003) - United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau fought through adversity and posted a respectable 14th place finish in Sunday's Auto Club 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway.
Nadeau, who finished on the lead lap, survived two spins and also had to overcome starting the race at the rear of the field.
Nadeau qualified his No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac Grand Prix sixth, but the team was forced to change engines after a valve broke on the last lap of Saturday's final practice session. Under NASCAR rules, an engine change results in a move to the back of the field.
"We had an easy top 10 car, but we had a lot of things happen to us that made it difficult," said Nadeau. "The guys did a great job and we all hung in there together. We made the best of it and I really feel this team is starting to jell. There will be better days."
With 42 laps remaining in the 250-lap, 500-mile race, Nadeau was positioned in 11th place and moving forward. But as he was entering turn four on the 2.0-mile oval, he spun out after making a great move to avoid contact with Ricky Craven's spin. The incident dropped Nadeau to 17th place.
Nadeau fought back to 15th place before losing control of his black and gold car on lap 219. The U.S. Army car went into another spin, but once again, Nadeau did a masterful job in saving the car from any damage.
"The car was loose and I was on the edge," said Nadeau. "I was just happy to finish the race in one piece."
Crew chief Ryan Pemberton concurred.
"We needed to finish the race and Jerry did a great job doing that," said Pemberton. "It sure would have been nice to have our sixth-place starting spot. It would have helped us a lot."
It was the second race for the team's first in-house built car, which had a fourth-place finish at the March 30th Texas Motor Speedway event.