O ESTADO HAWKEYE (THE HAWKEYE STATE): NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will head to the Hawkeye State this weekend for his first appearance at Iowa Speedway. The Brazilian driver will wheel the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado around the .875-mile track during the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee. Piquet Jr. has gained experience and shown great potential on the intermediate style tracks, but this will be his first time competing at a track under the one-mile length since he last raced at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway back in April.
KHI TRUCK SERIES SUCCESS: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) drivers have made four starts at Iowa Speedway since the Truck Series began racing at the .875-mile facility in 2009. The team has collected two top-five and two top-10 finishes at the track. KHI trucks hold an average starting position of 18.2 and an average finishing position of 11.2. Ricky Carmichael, Ron Hornaday and Kenny Schrader have all wheeled a KHI entry around the Newton, Iowa facility.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 8 team will utilize the No. 050 chassis this weekend at Iowa Speedway. This chassis was built new during the 2010 season and competed during the fall race at Phoenix International Raceway. The chassis was last on track earlier this season when Clint Bowyer qualified the entry in the pole position at Phoenix and drove to a second-place finish.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Nelson Piquet Jr. finished 22nd at Kentucky Speedway after getting caught up in a late-race accident. Piquet Jr. earned his career-best Truck Series qualifying position, placing him in the third position for the start of the race. The young Brazilian driver had one of the fastest trucks on the track, which allowed him to lead laps and run up front for the majority of the evening. With three laps remaining in the 150-lap event, Piquet Jr. was caught up in an accident, bringing his night to an early end.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Nelson Piquet Jr.
How do you feel going into the race at Iowa Speedway?
“With every race I’m gaining more and more confidence as I continue to learn, but I’m not sure what to expect heading into the race at Iowa. I’ve been told this track doesn’t compare to anything else. I have confidence in the team and the equipment that the guys at KHI bring to the track each week. I’m excited to see what this weekend will bring, and I hope I come out of this race learning something new.”
THOUGHTS FROM THE PIT BOX: Chris Carrier
What are the major characteristics of Iowa Speedway?
“Iowa Speedway doesn’t compare to any other track on the NASCAR circuit. It is shaped like Richmond, but has longer straightaways and more banking, but the racing surface is rougher. It’s tough to give a new driver advice about the track, when there is no other track to compare it to. I personally enjoying going to Iowa, it is a great facility and the community really supports and embraces the sport.”