Friday, May 02, 2008

5 Years Ago Today...

... a dream came to an abrupt and unexpected end... a friend fought for his live.... lives were forever changed.


Former NASCAR driver's painful recovery
Five years after a harrowing crash at Richmond International Raceway, former NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau is still trying to pick up the pieces.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Pictures, posters and other keepsakes adorn a wall in Jerry Nadeau's office. Helmets, diecast cars and T-shirts sit on shelves, untouched except by dust.

Among this montage of memories, two framed items stand out. One is a photo of Nadeau's car beside runner-up Dale Earnhardt's black No. 3 moments after Nadeau had won the 2000 season finale at Atlanta. Earnhardt's left hand juts out of his car, his index finger saluting Nadeau on his first and only NASCAR Winston Cup victory.

"That is the ultimate picture," Nadeau says with a widening grin.

Below that photo is a newspaper clipping from the race. A large picture captures him in Victory Lane, cheeks rosy and bulging smile toothy.

His right hand and that of teammate Jeff Gordon are clasped in celebration.
The headline proclaims: "Happily ever after."

If only it was true.

A head injury suffered five years ago today in a crash at Richmond International Raceway turned Nadeau's ultra-focused life into tumult.

Racing defined Nadeau, and even today, he still struggles to accept that he'll never compete in NASCAR's top series again.

To continue on, you
can find the full article here.

Some people know that I was a huge supporter of Jerry and I ran the "Get Jerry Noticed" program and then later, Team Nadeau. I've met a couple of my bestest friends because of the Jerry work I did....

I usually get to see him about once a year now and hope to be able to catch up with him later this month. Here's the only photo I can find at the moment (or rather, the only one I remembered to upload to Flickr)...

Jer_Nic

One thing the above article failed to note was Jerry has a beautiful 5 year old daughter... she was born in February, just a few months before her Dad's accident.

Natalie_1007

Jerry is a constant reminder to me that Life is Too Short... never put off tomorrow what you can do today! And to Jerry... I know you'll find that spark and get motivated again.

2 comments:

chanknits said...

That's tough. I hope perhaps one of the bigger VA papers will pick up the article too. Seems fitting... a promising career cut short for no good reason. I hope he finds something that brings him joy again.

Anonymous said...

give him my best if you see him when i get the pics from you of his daughter i often think of what he is and how he is doing

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