NASCAR America: Jerry Nadeau recounts how head injury changed his life, ended career


Jerry Nadeau’s racing career ended with one of the hardest impacts ever recorded in NASCAR history 14 years ago at Richmond Raceway.

The crash impact, recorded at just over 120 Gs, put Nadeau into a coma for nearly three weeks and he never competed in NASCAR again.

“I did everything I could, every rehab, everything I could do to make things better,” Nadeau said. “My left side’s kind of asleep. It’s still in that numbness feeling. It tingles 24/7. Unfortunately, when you scramble the brains a little bit, what you have is what you have after that.

NBC Sports’ Nate Ryan caught up with the former Hendrick Motorsports driver to see what his life was like today.

Nadeau, like Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced last year, will donate his brain to science. He has pledged his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

“I could probably list seven or eight concussions in my life,” Nadeau said. “Obviously, if they can learn something from my injury, I’d be glad to.”

After Nadeau’s accident, Richmond became one of the first tracks to install SAFER barriers on its walls.

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