JERRY NADEAU - 9/9/1970 - is a retired race car driver from Danbury, Connecticut. Nadeau's NASCAR career began in 1995 in the Busch Series. He made his debut at Hickory Motor Speedway in the #15 Buss Fuses Ford Thunderbird and ran five races that season with a best finish of nineteenth at Myrtle Beach Speedway. He ran a pair of Busch races the following season in the #59 Winmiser Chevy, but finished 39th in both races. After returning from racing in Europe in 1997, Nadeau moved to the Winston Cup Series, and signed a five-race contract with Precision Products Racing to replace Morgan Shepherd in the #1 R+L Carriers/Cruisin' America Pontiac Grand Prix. He made all five races, including a ninth-place qualification at New Hampshire International Speedway, but failed to finish higher than thirtieth and was let go at the end of his contract. In 1998, he signed up to drive a full schedule in Winston Cup with Bill Elliott Racing to drive the #13 FirstPlus Financial Ford for a car owned by Dan Marino. He failed to qualify for two of the first seven races, and was let go from the team midway through the season. He was immediately picked up by Melling Racing to drive the #9 Cartoon Network Ford Taurus, and finished the
season thirty-sixth in championship points, and third in the NASCAR Rookie of the Year points standings. Nadeau returned to Melling in 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, earning his first top-ten finish at Talladega Superspeedway. Early in the 1999 season, he announced that he would be leaving Melling at the end of the year, and two weeks after placing fifth at Watkins Glen International, he moved to MB2 Motorsports to replace Ernie Irvan in the #36 M&M's Pontiac. In 2000, he drove the #25 Michael Holigan Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, and after two fourth-place finishes, won the season-ending NAPA 500. Nadeau started the 2003 season as the driver of the MB2/MBV Motorsports #01 United States Army Pontiac, and quickly had a fourth-place finish at Texas. On May 2, 2003, during a practice session at Richmond International Raceway for the Pontiac Excitement 400, Nadeau spun in turn one and hit the wall driver's side first at high speed. Jerry responded to his crew before falling unconscious,
he had to be cut out of his car. Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, and several broken ribs. He was comatose for 20 of the 25 days he was hospitalized in Richmond before beginning a month of rehab in Charlotte. Every doctor he consulted said another head blow might kill him. Naduea was replaced by Joe Nemechek. Nadeau has not raced in NASCAR since. Nadeau worked with the Clay Andrews Racing Busch Series team as a mentor for rookie David Gilliland in 2006; Gilliland went on to win the Meijer 300 and earned a ride with Robert Yates Racing later that season. He later said in a Speed Channel interview in May 2006 that he will "more than likely not race in a Cup car again", but raced in the Old School Racing Champion’s Tour in 2008. For 2011, Nadeau became a mentor to truck series rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt, son of Kerry and grandson of Dale. For his career Nadeau competed in one Trucks series event, eight Nationwide events, and 177 CUP events. He had the lone CUP series win, and had almost 10 million dollars in earnings. Some info from WikiPedia. Here is a YouTube video of Nadeau's near fatal crash. And one of Nadeau's Atlanta win in 2000.
JOE NEMECHEK - 9/26/1963 - is a NASCAR driver and owner of NEMCO Motorsports. He won the 1992 Busch Series championship. He was born in Lakeland, Florida, the older brother of the late John Nemechek, and is nicknamed "Front Row Joe", a nickname given him by former teammate Wally Dallenbach for his tendency in the late 1990s to be a regular contender for a front row starting position. Nemechek began racing at the age of thirteen in motocross, and won three hundred career races over the next six years. After winning various awards in different short track series around the country, Nemechek made his Busch Series debut at North Carolina Speedway in 1989, where he started 40th and finishing 33rd after suffering engine failure in his #88 Buick. Nemechek moved up to the Busch Series in 1990, running the #87 with sponsorship from Master Machine & Tool, posting two top-fives and finishing
17th in points, and winning Rookie of the Year honors. He had sixteen top-ten finishes and finished sixth in points the following year. In 1992, Nemechek got full-time sponsorship from Texas Pete sauce, and got his first two career wins and defeated Bobby Labonte for the championship by three points. In 1994, Nemechek joined Larry Hedrick Motorsports to drive the #41 Meineke Discount Mufflers Chevy. Despite missing two races, he had three top-tens and finished 27th. The next season, he moved his 87 team up to the Cup series with sponsorship from Burger King, and posted a fourth-place finish at the MBNA 500 and finished 28th in points. After he dropped to 34th in points, he abandoned his Cup team and signed to drive the #42 Bellsouth car for SABCO Racing. After losing his brother John in an accident at Homestead-Miami
Speedway early in the year, Nemechek won the first two pole positions of his career. Midway through 1999, he announced he would not return to the #42 team the following season when he picked up his first career victory at Loudon. For 2000, Nemechek signed to drive the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet for Andy Petree Racing, winning the pole at Talladega and finishing a career-best fifteenth in points. He missed five races the following year after suffering an elbow injury at a test at Dover in 2001, then went on to win the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway that November. After replacing Johnny Benson (who was injured in an accident at Richmond) in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for MB2 Motorsports
for a few races, Nemechek was signed by Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet (replacing Jerry Nadeau). He had a solid finish to his 2002 season, finishing second twice in the season's final four races. In 2003, he won at the Pontiac Excitement 400 as well as posting five other top-ten finishes, but finished 25th in points. It wasn't enough for Nemechek to keep his job at Hendrick, and at the end of the season was released from his contract. For the 2004, season, Nemechek returned to MB2/MBV Motorsports, taking over the #01 U.S. Army car (driven previously by Jerry Nadeau, who was severely injured in a crash in a test run for the Richmond race Nemechek ended up winning the prior season). In October, Nemechek won at Kansas Speedway,
beating out Ricky Rudd at the finish line. Nemechek also won the Busch Series race at Kansas the day before, making him the first driver to pull the Busch-Cup double win at the track. The MB2 was rebranded as Ginn Racing following Bobby Ginn's purchase of the team in 2006. He moved to Ginn's #13 with CertainTeed sponsorship after veteran Mark Martin and rookie Regan Smith were tapped to share the #01 car. In July 2007, Nemechek was released due to a lack of sponsorship for the #13, which was subsequently shut down. He spent the rest of the season driving for Furniture Row Racing, and signed a three-year contract with FRR to continue to drive in the #78 and help expand the team. In April 2008, at Talladega, Joe Nemechek grabbed his 10th career pole driving the #78 National Day of Prayer/ Furniture Row car It marked Furniture Row Racing's first ever pole. In October 2008, Nemechek finished 11th at the Talladega race, marking Furniture Row Racing's best finish at that time. Nemechek raced in 30 Cup races during the 2009 season despite very little funding. He finished just three events and did multiple "start and parks" where a driver starts
the race, then parks to conserve parts, tires, etc. and to collect the prize money. Joe brought his #87 cars back for 2011 to once again run both major NASCAR series. Nemechek successfully qualified for the Daytona 500 for the second year in a row, but was once again involved in an early incident, thus failing to finish again. On June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, along with Jeff Burton he made his 900th NASCAR start in all top three series. In the Nationwide Series, Nemechek scored his first top five since 2005 with a 3rd place finish at the Aaron's 312 after being in position to win with 2 laps to go. Ever since 2010 Nemechek has been an owner / driver and as usually happens he had had very little success. He ran full time though 2013 driving for himself and wasn't able to post even one top ten finish in that span. He ran just part-time in 2014 driving for owner Jay Robinson, but a 30th place finish was the best he could muster. 2015 Nemechek didn't race and at all; but put a large amount of energy into bring his son John Hunter Nemechek along through the NASCAR ranks. John Hunter ran 18 races in the Truck series and was able to post a win. (see more on John Hunter below). Joe ran 16 races in 2017
in the Truck Series; mostly in a start-n-park effort to collect a pay check and help acquire funds to support John Hunters Truck Series efforts. That continued in 2018 as Joe struggled to field a competitive truck so John Hunter couls showcase his talent. Joe started 17 of the 23 races; posting a best finish of third at Daytona. Joe's efforts to help John Hunter seems to have paid off as he made 18 starts driving an Xfinity car for Chip Ganassi; posting one win. It appears John Hunter will drive full time for Ganassi in 2019. To date Nemechek has competed in 435 Xfinity races, he has won 16 races and posted 74 top five finishes. In the Cup series Joe looks to be done, and to date has 667 career starts. He has claimed four wins, and 10 poles. He has 18 top five finishes. He was career earnings of over 56 million dollars to date. Some info from WikiPedia. Here is a YouTube video of Nemecheck's last win. In the picture above is Joe is shown with his brother John. John had a fatal crash in a truck series race at Homestead FL. In the foreground is their mother Martha; a mainstay at all the races herboys raced in.
JOHN NEMECHEK - 3/12/1970 - 3/21/1997 - The younger brother of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Joe Nemechek, John followed his brother into racing, running his first race at the age of twelve in an 80 class dirt bike race. After a quick progression to the 250cc class, he moved on to mini-stock cars, where he raced against his brother, and eventually late-model stocks. When he wasn't racing, Nemechek served as the front-tire changer on Joe's pit crew, and was on Joe's 1992 Busch Series Championship winning team. He would begin attempting NASCAR races himself, and ran one Busch Race at IRP in 1994. He finished 30th after his #89 Chevrolet suffered engine failure. The following season, he began racing the #8 Chevrolet C/K in the new Craftsman Truck Series. In the first year of competition, Nemechek ran 16 races and had two top-ten finishes. He followed that up with two more top-tens in 1996 and a thirteenth place finish in points, running a single truck he built himself titled The War Wagon under his own team, Chek Racing, Inc. On March
16, 1997, Nemechek was running a Truck race at Homestead-Miami Speedway when with 25 laps to go, he suddenly lost control of his truck and slammed into the Turn 1 wall driver's-side first, suffering major head injuries. He clung to life over the next five days before finally succumbing on March 21, only nine days after his 27th birthday. Joe was able to pay tribute to his brother by winning a Busch Series race that November at the same track (which had been overhauled with a reconfiguration, turning the track into a true oval with six degrees of banking, eliminating the rectangular configuration used in March) that took his brother's life, and also naming his son John Hunter after his late brother. John Hunter has since started racing in the NASCAR Truck series, and is very competitive. For his career John competed in one Nationwide series race, and 43 Truck series events. He posted four top 10 finishes, with a best finish of 7th. Some info from WikiPedia. A video of Nemechek's fatal crash is here.
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK - 6/11/1997 - is a native of Mooresville, North Carolina; He is the son of Joe Nemechek. Joe's brother; John Nemechek was killed in a racing accident in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, at the time Joe's wife was pregnant. In honor of his brother, and in his memory, Joe and his wife named their child John Hunter Nemechek. John Hunter began his racing career at the age of 5, competing in go-karts, quarter midget cars and in dirt bike competition. He moved up to stock car competition in 2010, competing in the Allison Legacy Series with sponsorship from England Stove Works. In 2012, Nemechek moved up to late model and super late model competition, competing in the Champion Racing Association Super Series and American Speed Association Midwest Tour; he also competed in the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway during Speedweeks.
Nemechek won praise from Cup Series driver Kyle Busch following a CRA Super Series race in which both drivers competed. In June 2012, Nemechek won the pole for the Howie Lettow Memorial 150, an ASA Midwest Tour event, at the Milwaukee Mile; on an interesting note; he was scheduled to take a driver's education course the following week as he had just passed his fifteenth birthday and did not yet have his drivers license. In 2013, Nemecheck moved to competing in the Southern Super Series as well as in selected races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, starting with the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway in
February. In late 2013, he made his debut in the Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 22 Toyota for SWM-NEMCO Racing. He competed in two events, with a best finish of 16th. In January 2014, Nemechek announced he would be competing in ten Camping World Truck Series events during the 2014 season. After the season ended, he won the 300-lap Snowball Derby. On September 19, 2015, 16 years to the day after Joe Nemechek won his first Cup race, John Hunter Nemechek won his first Truck Series race at Chicagoland. On November 29, Nemechek was voted the Most Popular Driver for the 2015 season in the Truck
Series. In 2016, Nemechek won at Atlanta (pictured). At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 250, Nemechek and Cole Custer were battling for the lead when Nemechek bumped Custer before running both Custer and himself off-road, pinning Custer to the wall. Before the winner was declared, Nemechek was tackled by Custer; Nemechek would be named the winner. Nemechek posted an additional second place finishes at Martinsville and Kentucky. He had five Top 5 finishes and 11 Top 10 finishes in 2016. John Hunter raced for his Dad, Joe in 2017 and saw him claim two wins and make the Chase. However he missed the final race to win the Championship and finished eighth in points. John Hunter split time between the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series
in 2018; running 18 events in both series. In the Truck Series he posted a win a at Martinsville; and added five additional Top 5's. He also drove the #42 machine for Chip Ganassi and posted a win at Kansas; and six additional Top 5's; finishing 13th in the points. It has been announced that he will be driving full time in the Xfinity series in the GMS #23. That seat became available when Spencer Gallagher retired. Some info from Wikipedia.
RYAN NEWMAN - 12/8/1977 - is a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He drives the #39 United States Army/Tornados/Haas Automation/Quicken Loans/Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet Impala for Stewart Haas Racing under crew chief Tony Gibson. Newman graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a B.S. in engineering. In 2002, he was the Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Newman made his racing debut in 1993 in the United Midget Auto Racing Association and the All-American Midget Series, winning both Rookie of the Year and the championship. His 100 feature wins and two titles have him in the Quarter Midget Hall of Fame. Moving to USAC in 1995 running the C.E. Lewis #39 Drinan Chassis powered Brayton Motor, he was ROTY again in both the Midget Series and the Silver Crown in 1996. In 1999, he was the first driver to win in all three divisions while being the Silver Bullet Series champion in the #14 Beast Chassis powered Chevy. Newman began working for legendary racing icon Roger Penske in 2000, winning 3 of the five ARCA RE/MAX Series races he entered, and making his Winston Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway. In 2001, Newman continued in both ARCA and NASCAR, while attending Purdue. Newman ran 15 Busch Series races that season, winning poles in his 2nd and 3rd career starts and scoring his first career win at
Michigan International Speedway in just his 9th career start. He also had a series-high 6 poles. Around this time he would meet racing legend Buddy Baker, who would eventually become his mentor on superspeedways. In 2002, Newman won a season-high 6 poles, breaking the record set by Davey Allison. In September, he won his first career Winston Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after starting from the pole. Newman also became the second rookie since Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the The Winston, and beat out Jimmie Johnson for the Rookie of the Year award on the strength of rookie records in top-fives (14) and top-tens (22). Newman's sophomore season began with 2 flips and 1 near flip at
the 2003 Daytona 500 after contact with Ken Schrader, At Watkins Glen he spun and hit the foam blocks, sending him on his side. The near-flip was at the 2003 Aaron's 499 when getting turned, he got into the wall, sending it nearly on his side. Though finishing the season with a series-high eight wins and eleven poles, he also suffered seven DNF's, which left him sixth in points. His number of poles during the season led to him being nicknamed "Rocket Man." In 2004, Newman qualified for the inaugural Chase for the Cup by finishing seventh in points with two wins and nine poles. He made the 2005 Chase as well, while returning to the Busch Series after a four-year absence, winning six out of the nine races he entered, including a series-record five straight. Newman endured his first win-less season in 2006, finishing a career-worst 18th in points, while his longtime crew chief, Matt Borland, left for Michael Waltrip Racing. His pole ratio between his rookie year and 2006 was one in every three races, tying him for fifteenth on the all-time poles list. In 2007, despite a streak of three consecutive poles, Newman again failed to win a race, including a near win at Lowe's Motor Speedway that was spoiled by a blown tire. His win-less drought ended after he won the 2008 Daytona 500 on February 17, 2008. It was also the first Daytona 500 win for Penske. On July 15, 2008, Newman announced that he was leaving Penske at the end of the season, and a month later, it was confirmed he was joining newly-formed Stewart Haas Racing in
2009, in the number 39 (his number during his midget-driving years) Chevy Impala. U.S. Army signed on for a three-year sponsorship deal, though only for 23 races of the 2009 season. On September 12 at Richmond, Newman finished 10th and clinched a spot in the Chase for the first time since 2005. On November 1, 2009, at the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Newman was involved in a heavy crash on the back stretch in which he flipped over on top of Kevin Harvick entering Turn 3. He ended up on his roof, and because the roof was crushed, crews had to use the Jaws of Life to pry the roof off the car after NASCAR officials flipped it back over. Newman was unharmed. On April 10, 2010, Newman broke a 78 race win-less streak with a win in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at
Phoenix International Raceway. He only led 4 laps during the race. He got his first win of the season winning on a fuel mileage having enough to get the checkered flag at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire, giving him his 3rd career win at the track. Tony Stewart finished 2nd giving Stewart/Haas Racings first ever 1–2 finish. At the same track in September, Ryan Newman grabbed his 3rd pole of the season at the Sylvania 300. The 49th pole of his career put him in a tie for 10th all time on career poles with Bobby Issac. On April 1, 2012, at Martinsville Speedway, Newman survived a wild finish to get the 16th win of his career. Newman made his Truck Series debut on October 25, 2008 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, starting
10th in the 33 truck field driving Kevin Harvick's #2 Truck and passed his teammate Ron Hornaday with less than five laps to go to pick up his first truck series win in his first start making him the first driver to get their first Truck win at Atlanta and becoming the 4th driver to win in their first Truck race and joining the list of drivers who have won in all three of NASCAR's top series. From to 2009 through 2013 Newman wheeled a car for the new Stewart-Haas team. During that time he posted four wins. In 2014 he moved to Richard Childress Racing. He essentially swapped with Kevin Harvick, as Harvick moved from Childress to Stewart-
Haas. The move proved fruitful for both drivers as Harvick won the Championship and Newman finished second by one point. Newman also made the Chase in 2015. 2016 saw a down-tick in performance for Newman and his Richard Childress Racing team mates. Newman ran poorly often because of poor handling and a seeming lack of power. He finished a disappointing 18 in the final points standings. He posted only two top five finishes and finished off of the lead lap in eleven races. As 2017 kicks off, Newman has accumulated 17 wins in the CUP series in 548 starts; along with 105 top five finishes. 2017 saw him stay with RCR driving the #31 Caterpillar Chevy; He pulled a major surprise winning at Phoenix in just the fourth race of 2017 and broke a 127 race win less streak. Newman had ran mid-pack the whole race; but with just a few laps to go Joey Logano blew a tire bringing out the final yellow. Everyone came in to pit for the big finish - everyone that is but, Newman, Ricky Stenhouse and Martin Truex. Kyle Busch had the best car all day leading 114 laps and was leading at the time of the yellow. Stenhouse and Kyle Larson made contact on the restart and gave Newman to slip away to the win. It also locked him into the Chase. Newman was only able to post five additional Top-5 finishes in 2017 and was eliminated from the Chase after the first round. He finished 16th in the points. For 2018 Newman returned to RCR racing along with team mate Austin Dillon. Newman had a disappointing season driving for RCR in 2018. He failed to qualify for the Chase and didn't even post a Top 5 finish. He ended up 17th in points; and may have led to his decision to leave RCR at the end of the season and spend the 2019 season driving for Roush Fenway Racing. He has 51 poles to date, with 18 wins in 584 Cup starts. So far he has over 89 million dollars in career winnings. In the Xfinity series Newman has competed in 64 races, claiming seven wins. He has ran seven events in the Truck series, and claimed one victory. Some info from WikiPedia. Here is a video via YouTube of a Newman's wild ride he took at Talladega; and also a video of Newman's Daytona 500 win.
RODNEY ORR - 11/6/1962 - 2/14/1994 - was a NASCAR driver. Originally from Robbinsville, North Carolina, he lived in Palm Coast, Florida at the time of his death. He was the 1993 Goody's Dash Series champion winning 6 races in 25 starts. Orr and his father, Beacher, purchased a Ford Thunderbird during the 1993-1994 off-season, and acquired an engine from Ernie Elliott in hopes of competing in the 1994 Winston Cup Series. His #37 Thunderbird, sponsored by Bobby Brooks Exxon, recorded the seventh-best time at one test session that winter. However, before he could run a single race, Orr was killed in practice before the 1994 Daytona 500. Orr was making what is now referred to as a "Mock Qualifying Run", when he spun entering turn 2. Orr's car lifted up and the car slammed heavily into the outside retaining wall and catch fence with the roof of his car at over 175 miles per hour. Despite the efforts to save him, Orr died instantly of massive chest and head injuries sustained in the violent crash. His death came just three days after the death of Neil Bonnett on the same track. Orr died on February 14, 1994. He was 31 years old. He was survived by his wife, Crystal, and daughter Ashton. A video with info about Orr's crash is here via YouTube. Some info from WikiPedia.
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