Rockingham: Jerry Nadeau race report

Nadeau battles through adversity at the Rock. ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 23, 2003) - Though he got hit twice from behind and battled handling problems, United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau fought his way to a 26th place finish in Sunday's Subway...

Nadeau battles through adversity at the Rock.

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 23, 2003) - Though he got hit twice from behind and battled handling problems, United States Army driver Jerry Nadeau fought his way to a 26th place finish in Sunday's Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at North Carolina Speedway.

"I'm not happy with the finish, but I am happy with how we stuck in there after all of the things that happened to us today," said Nadeau, who started from the 24th position.

Getting tagged twice wasn't the only misfortune Nadeau had to deal with during the 400-mile, 393-lap event. He also lost a lap by inches in the later stages of the race when he valiantly tried to recover from one of the spin outs to beat the leader back to the start/finish line during a caution.

"I really thought I made it," said Nadeau. "But I guess I just missed it. Going a lap down at that point of the race definitely hurt our chances."

"It appeared Jerry got there first," said U.S. Army crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "But they (NASCAR officials) said we didn't. It was a call made at the plate so to speak. I am sure NASCAR was right, but it was only by inches."

As Nadeau wrestled with the loose handling car during the early part of the race, he maintained his patience and was creeping up on the field. But, on lap 122, he got bumped from behind by Dale Earnhardt Jr., which sent the U.S. Army No. 01 Pontiac Grand Prix into a 360 degree spin. The car did not suffer major damage, but the incident did drop Nadeau towards the tail end of the 43-car field.

As he battled his way back and running on the lead lap, Nadeau got clipped again as a result of a Jeff Gordon spin on lap 296. That was the incident that put Nadeau a lap down.

"When you race on this track you can only have so many things happen before you start to pay a penalty," said Nadeau. "The U.S. Army car was getting better as the race went on, but that last hit really hurt us. Hopefully our luck will change next week in Las Vegas."

"Jerry did a good job," said Pemberton. "With Saturday's practice sessions rained out we went into the race with a cold turkey setup. I saw plenty of positives today and it's going to eventually pay off." 

-mb2m-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Jerry Nadeau