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Former Cup driver Nadeau joins RWR as driver coach for JE

Jeffrey Earnhardt’s chances of rookie of the year just went up significantly with the hire of Jerry Nadeau not only a driving coach but as a mentor. An upcoming NASCAR star, Jeffrey Earnhardt, 4th generation NASCAR driver & grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, seems to be making all the right moves as he continues his independent climb towards the top. Nadeau will be mentoring Jeffrey not only on track at the races, but off track as well. This move shows the serious nature of Jeffrey Earnhardt’s bid to become the next great driver in his family’s long and storied tradition. Jeffrey’s grandfather, the late great Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced against Nadeau on many occasions with, in sad irony, Nadeau actually winning the last race Dale Sr. competed in prior to the Daytona 500 race which claimed Dale Sr.’s life.

Nadeau has intimate knowledge of the inherent dangers himself, experiencing a near fatal wreck on May 2, 2003, during a practice session at Richmond International Raceway for the Pontiac Excitement 400. Nadeau suffered complete immobility of the left side of his body, a skull fracture, concussion, and several broken ribs. Nadeau no longer races but has successfully taken on the role of mentor before, thus giving him a proven track record in this capacity. In 2006 Nadeau worked with rookie David Gilliland, who went on to win the Meijer 300. Nadeau’s respect and admiration for Dale Sr. is apparent and he is genuinely honored to assist Jeffrey as he enters into his first full season in one of NASCAR’s elite series, not to mention his run for Rookie of the Year in the NCWTS. “I see the raw talent in Jeffrey and I feel that with the proper guidance he can be taken to the top of the sport,” said Nadeau. He also offered, "I think my experience helping other drivers and as a former driver myself, this will provide good insight for Jeffrey on the track. Jeffrey is a talented driver and just needs a little coaching and someone who can pull the reigns on him when needed. This should be a fun season and I'm excited to work with him."

Jeffrey Earnhardt will be competing in a full season in the 2011 NCWTS in the #1 Rick Ware Racing Fuel Doctor Chevy and is very happy to have Nadeau on board saying, "I'm excited to have Jerry with us to work with me as a mentor and driver coach. I think he will be instrumental in shortening my learning curve as a driver." Jeffrey will be racing at Daytona’s Rolex 24 on Jan. 28th as well as Daytona again in the NCWTS on Feb. 18th, which marks a solemn date being the 10th anniversary of Dale Sr.’s last race on the same track.

Hill’s debut a learning experience

Timmy Hill made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway. Driving the #15 Fuel Doctor USA Ford, Hill qualified in the 30th position for the Bashas Supermarket 300.

“This was definitely a learning experience for me,” stated Hill. “The competition is tough with guys like Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman in the field and we did the right thing and logged laps and learned a ton about these NEW cars.”

Hill fell back to through the field while trying to balance a fast pace with a tight car early in the race, giving constant feedback to crew chief Doug Richert and the Fuel Doctor-Rick Ware Racing team.

A long green flag run at the start of the race put the 18 year old two laps down before the team could make adjustments on lap 47 and a clean race only providing three cautions did not allow the team to make adjustments as needed for the rest of the race.

“We made changes when we could but our goal was to run clean, gain seat time and respect from my fellow competitors. I feel we did just that. We finished 29th which isn’t great but we will take it as a debut. I will head to my first mile and a half track at Las Vegas and apply what we learned about the car and my driving style and better our results.”

Hill will be making his Las Vegas Motor Speedway debut in the #15 Ford Mustang for the running of the Sams Town 300 on Saturday.

Earnhardt finishes 7th at Daytona

When Jeffrey Earnhardt walked to the starting grid for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, the young driver knew that the Earnhardt name was on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

The media coverage on his grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, passing 10 years earlier at Daytona was widely covered across the globe and many eyes were focused on the 4th generation driver bearing the family name.

Jeffrey qualified his #1 Fuel Doctor Platinum Chevy in the 23rd position and knew his truck was going to be great in the draft once the green flag dropped.

Earnhardt moved quickly into the top twenty by lap ten and tested drafting partners throughout the day, moving from 11th to 22nd by lap 80.

The Fuel Doctor Chevy Team led by veteran crew chief Joe Lax already had a plan in place prior to the green flag dropping. “Our goal here in Daytona is for Jeffrey to log laps and finish the race” said Lax. “Jeffrey has spent countless hours this offseason working with a driver coach and learning to develop patience and that showed with his stellar performance on-track”.

After dodging several incidents ahead of him, Earnhardt and his Fuel Doctor team were in good company hanging back in the field with their drafting partner for the night the #18 truck of Kyle Busch and were ready to make their way to the front with their Chevy truck when chaos broke out and Jeffrey received some damage with just under ten laps to go in the event.

Jeffrey’s truck had severe damage to the front end, however because of the red-flag called, and the positioning of the truck, it was difficult for the spotter and his driver coach that were up on the spotter stand to see the damage. Lax made a veteran call, when he decided to stay out and take a chance at having a tire go down, since he know there would be no chance of a win if he were to bring the #1 Fuel Doctor Chevy to pit road with only a few laps remaining.

When the smoke cleared from nearly a dozen wrecked trucks, Earnhardt found himself in the seventh position with a green-white-checkered flag finish to decide it all.

Earnhardt strategically got the nose of this Fuel Doctor Chevy under the #10 of Jennifer Jo Cobb for the 3rd position as the white flag flew, and the Rookie of the Year Contender made a veteran decision in not causing an incident and settled in behind Cobb.

Coming to the checkered flag, Earnhardt took the inside line behind the leaders as an outside line picked up momentum. The photo finish provided Earnhardt his career high in the 7th position and the start to a solid Rookie of the Year campaign.

“I can’t thank everyone enough that has supported me on this Rick Ware Racing Fuel Doctor Chevy team” said Earnhardt. I have a great driver coach (Jerry Nadeau) and without the support of everyone around me I could not have done this. It was great having Kyle (Busch) help on the track and I am happy about our finish. I was told to hang back and just log laps and learn my truck, so that is what I did. I had a great spotter and my crew chief Joe did a great job. I would like to thank Mark Soffa from Fuel Doctor, Fast Wax and Rick Ware for supporting me. I think it is really cool that Michael Waltrip won; the only thing better would have been for my Rick Ware Racing Team to be celebrating in victory lane.

Earnhardt currently sits 3rd in the Drivers Championship standings and second in the Rookie of the Year standings heading to the Phoenix International Raceway for the running of the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday, February 25th.

For more information visit www.wareracing.com or you can also follow the team on Twitter at @rickwareracing