The Price Of Chemistry
by Adam Sewell
May 23, 2002

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While Jerry Nadeau had flashes of brillance, the team lacked chemistry.
Photo: Pete McCole

You hear it all the time...team chemistry. If a team isn't running as well as they had hoped, that's usually where the first finger gets pointed. In the world of stack car racing, changes to a team are imminent if the team is performing poorly, but why do changes occur so often in this sport? 

The most obvious reason is pretty simple. Changes are made to a team to get a chance to possibly catch up to the rest of the pack, instead of falling behind every week. From the first race of the season to the last, every team is on a quest to acquire those coveted championship points. The teams that aren't performing well will find themselves falling further and further behind in the standings every week. That's a major setback when you consider that money is only paid to the top 25 finishers at season's end. 

The second reason changes are usually made is because there may be friction in the team. There may be a situation where the driver and crew chief just aren't getting along, or they can't communicate because of outside interference. Sometimes you'll see a case where someone is promoted higher up in the team, but they still try to do their old job even though their former position has been filled. 

It seems like every year the Silly Season starts earlier. The first major move to make headlines this year was the issue the 88 car. Jimmy Eledge was hired to take over the roll of crew chief for Dale Jarrett, while Todd Parrot had been promoted to team manager. Through the first few races, the 88 team just didn't perform as they had in the past. Jimmy Eledge left the Robert Yates team and returned to his former job at Andy Petree Racing. Todd Parrot took over the crew chief duties once again and the team suddenly improved. 

The most recent shake up has been at Hendrick Motorsports. First off, the crew chief of the 25 car, Tony Furr was released and he landed at the 7 team with Casey Atwood and Ray Evernham. Later, Jerry Nadeau was released and Joe Nemechek has taken over the driving duties of the 25 car on a week to week basis. 

It's still very early in the season, and things are only going to get bigger from here. Elliott Sadler has asked for his release from the Wood Brother's team, and there are rumors going around about a big shake up at Dale Earnhardt Inc. With all the rumors going around, don't ignore the outrageous; it just may be the truth.

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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Others by Adam

The Price Of Chemistry 05/23/02

Enter The Iron Man 05/15/02

Here Come the Night Races 05/03/02

Early Surprises on the Tour

Can a team get a bigger restrictor plate

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