CORAҪÃO DA AMÉRICA (HEART OF AMERICA) - Nelson Piquet Jr. will head to Kansas Speedway in the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado this weekend for the eighth event of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Piquet will compete at the Kansas City, Kan. track for the first time in his career.
STRETCH OF INTERMEDIATE TRACKS: Kansas Speedway, an intermediate track (one-to-two mile tracks), will be the second of four consecutive events held at 1.5-mile tracks. Charlotte Motor Speedway kicked off the streak of intermediate tracks, where Piquet finished 21st after a last-lap incident. After Kansas, the Truck Series will head to Texas Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Earlier this season, Piquet finished a career-best second at the 1.333-mile intermediate track at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. With 14 events at intermediate tracks in the 25-race schedule this season, Piquet hopes to regain momentum this weekend at Kansas.
KHI SUCCESS AT KANSAS: KHI has made 11 starts at Kansas, with three pole awards and one win. Ron Hornaday earned all three pole awards (2010, 2009, 2008), and he also took the win in 2008 from the pole.
NASCAR TRUCK SERIES HITS A MILESTONE: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway will mark the 400th start for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This milestone falls during the series’ 17th season. Since its inception the Truck Series has seen 10 different series champions. Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) driver Ron Hornaday currently holds the record for most wins (47) and championships (2009, 2007, 1997 and 1996). Hornaday captured his two most recent championships while driving for KHI.
AT-TRACK SCAVENGER HUNT: Fans will have the opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt at Kansas Speedway to win tickets to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 and other great KHI prizes. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/KHI_TruckSeries or www.facebook.com/KevinHarvickInc for the latest updates and the starting point for the scavenger hunt.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 8 team will utilize Chassis No. 054 from the KHI stable. The truck debuted at Nashville Superspeedway in April with the No. 21 team and teammate Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. Sadler finished the event in the 18th position after handling problems arose in the last 50 laps. KHI built the chassis for the 2011 season, and the Kansas event will be the second time the truck will hit the track.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: For the second week in a row, a last-lap incident prevented a good finish for the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado team. In a Friday night showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Nelson Piquet Jr. drove the No. 8 KHI Chevrolet in the top 10 for the majority of the race, but a spin on lap 134 forced the team to finish as the last truck on the lead lap in the 21st position.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Nelson Piquet Jr.
How do you feel going into the race at Kansas Speedway?
“I have not competed at Kansas Speedway, but I feel pretty comfortable at 1.5-mile tracks. I know that the surface is smooth, which will be a change from the rougher track at Charlotte. In the past two events at Dover and Charlotte, we’ve had disappointing finishes, so I’m looking forward to getting back to the track after a weekend off and giving the No. 8 team a good finish. Our team continues to grow each week, and I’ve learned a lot after every event this season.”
THOUGHTS FROM THE PIT BOX: Chris Carrier
What are the major characteristics of Kansas Speedway?
“Kansas Speedway is the smoothest track that we race on all year. The people who constructed the track did their homework because the track is a great surface to run on. I’ve heard it described over the years as ‘like racing on glass.’ To compare it to other 1.5-mile tracks, it is not as fast or rough, and does not have the banking like Charlotte. I expect a lot of two-wide racing this weekend at the track.”
What are the keys to success at Kansas?
“Our goal this weekend is just to keep dotting the ‘i’s” and crossing the “t’s” in every aspect of our program. From the in-shop preparation to practice to pit stops to the race, we are working on making sure all the details are in order to continue to build our program. Each week we are learning, and growing in every aspect of this young team. I think that we are showing that the No. 8 is a truck to contend each and every week, and I know Nelson is striving to develop in every aspect of NASCAR racing.”