Brazilian Piquet Captures First NASCAR National Series Victory
Taking a page straight out of his Turner Motorsports teammate James Buescher’s playbook, Nelson Piquet Jr. became the second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title contender to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race this season. Piquet displayed his road racing skills leading a race high 19 laps on to capture the checkered flag at Road America becoming the first Brazilian to win a national series event.
He currently sits sixth in the NCWTS championship standings with 15 races remaining in 2012.
Piquet – who has a combined 40 NASCAR national series starts – made the jump to NASCAR from Formula 1 in 2010.
Championship on Everyone’s Mind in Kentucky
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action for Thursday night’s Kentucky Speedway UNOH 225 (SPEED live 8 p.m.) for the first time since June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway.
And it is safe to assume that the NCWTS championship contenders have had Kentucky circled on their calendar since the beginning of the season. And for good reason - six out of 11 previous winners have captured both a win at the 1.5-mile oval and the championship trophy in the same season.
Greg Biffle kicked off the trend in 2000 when the series ran their inaugural race at the speedway before capturing his first series championship. Mike Bliss and Bobby Hamilton followed in 2002 and 2004. Most recently Johnny Benson (2008), Ron Hornaday Jr. (2009) and Todd Bodine (2010) have all visited victory lane at the Bluegrass State before hoisting the championship trophy several months later.
In 13 races at Kentucky, 11 different winners have visited victory lane - 10 of them coming from starting positions inside the top 10. Hornaday is the only former winner to win from the pole.
Make It Seven and Counting
Seven races into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season has the excitement level at an all-time high with no repeat race winners to date. A feat that has never before been accomplished in the 17 year history of the series. Johnny Sauter became the seventh and most recent race winner capturing the checkered flag and famed cowboy hat at Texas Motor Speedway. Sauter’s victory ended a dismal streak of finishes of 24th or worse in five out of the first seven events.
The season’s winners include three drivers who have tasted victory for the first time: John King (Daytona), James Buescher (Kansas) and Justin Lofton (Charlotte). Lofton currently leads the championship standing by five points over Timothy Peters followed by Ty Dillon, Buescher and Parker Kligerman. Dillon and Kligerman remain the only two drivers inside the top-five to not visit victory lane in 2012.
Dillon – who leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings - arguably leads the charge as the favorite to become fourth first-time winner this season, but Nelson Piquet Jr. could have something to say about that. Piquet won his first NASCAR national series event last weekend at Road America in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.