Joe Nemechek won at Kansas in 2003 after leaving the 25 car. If they hadn't put Mark Martin in the 01 car this year, it would have been Nemechek finishing second at Daytona...and don't give me that crap line that Martin did it because he is a better driver. He did it because Bobby Ginn has sunk more money into the 01/13/14 team in one off season then Nelson Bowers and crew did in a decade.
Jerry Nadeau would have won that race had he not suffered a career ending injury.
What you are failing to remember is that these drivers you are dissing, mainy Jerry Nadeau would have had far more impressive results if things had gone better.
Let's look at Jerry Nadeau's career. The stats you are using against him, actually, if TRULY looked at, show what he truly WAS capable of!
Fact: He nearly won Sears Point in a Petty car. This was in the time that Petty cars were struggling, and failing, to even make races, let alone run in the top 20. A lesser driver wouldn't have done that. Remember Roy "Buckshot" Jones? While I am a big fan of Buckshot's, he just didn't have what it takes to make it in Cup. The ride he couldn't even always qualify earlier in the season, Jerry steps in and almost wins. Mechanical Faliure keeps Jerry out of Victory Lane. Even Ted Musgrave, another favorite of mine, who later won the Truck Series Championship!
Could not even succeed in that car! A Championship winning driver in the exact same car doing nothing...That should speak volumes!
Fact: He nearly put the #01 Army Pontiac in Victory lane. Think about what the MB2 team had at that time. They were racing a lame-duck Pontiac Grand Prix. They had almost no factory support, as Pontiac was preparing to pull out of the sport, which they did at the end of the season. The team was mid-pack quality at best before then. As I said, Nelson Bowers just didn't have the financial means that other owners did, and the team had been struggling since it's inception in 1997, with Derrike Cope behind the wheel. It had won only a single race, also Johnny Benson's sole career victory (for now). In only Ten races before a career ending injury (again caused be mechanical faliure!) Jerry, while not posting impressive results, had some of the best races in his career. Care to pull out the old race tapes and rewatch them and see?
Take a look at the MB2 Team page here: http://www.racing-reference.info/owner?id=bowerne01
Not very impressive is it? This is the team that both Nadeau and Nemechek went to after leaving Hendrick.
If they could stop getting hit by other drivers, and NASCAR's moronic Top 35 rule, both Nemechek and Marlin would be in the top 20 in points currently, and I think Nemechek would be top 10. Top 15 at the lowest.
The 25 car has been an R&D car since Tim Richmond died. That was Hendrick's second car (after the #5 with Geoff Bodine) and I think every time Rick sees it he thinks of his lost friend, thus why it remains on track. That, and, the fact that it still has a sponsor.
The 25 and 5 share a shop. They share cars. In fact, the cars are 100% identical except the decals! (They were even painted with the same blue paint!) And, we know for a fact that Terry Labonte was running an R&D car near the end of his career. He, Hendrick, or his various crew chiefs never denied it. And they are the exact same cars!
The entire story is not proved by finishing positions. Think of how often the best car does NOT win the race, either due to mechical falire, crash, driver error, etc.
We Jerry Nadeau diehard fans may not be voluminus, but we are rabid and protective...LOL.