NASCAR WCUP: Nadeau Posts Best-Ever Finish at Talladega

27 April 1999

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Jerry Nadeau posted his career-best finish Sunday in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Nadeau, 28, drove the No. 9 WCW Ford across the finish line in eighth place after running as high as third, battling for position in the late stages of the race.

"This was an awesome day for Melling Racing," said Nadeau, a Danbury, Conn., native. "We were fast all day, especially with someone running behind us in the draft.

"I feel like I finally earned some respect out there. This was Melling Racing's first top-10 finish in a long time and I'm glad I could give it to them. It was great to see the guys' faces at the end of the day."

The 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway is a special place for Melling Racing. Sunday's race was the 12th anniversary of the team's record-setting 212.809 mph qualifying run with driver Bill Elliott, the fastest official speed in a stock car to date.

Nadeau collected $49,805 for his finish and moved up three places in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings to 31st. His move up from a 20th-place starting position was a challenge, though.

"It was good, hard racing all day," explained Nadeau. "I went from front to back to front I don't know how many times. But all the drivers out there really used their heads. The crew really helped me move up with fast pit stops -- they were awesome. I really feel like the race was a turning point for both myself and Melling Racing. I'm looking forward to seeing where we can go from here."

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