O ESTADO BLUEGRASS (THE BLUEGRASS STATE): Famously known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make its way to the Bluegrass state with a different type of horse power. Nelson Piquet Jr. heads to the Sparta, Ky., track for his first-career start at the 1.5-mile facility in the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado.
KHI TRUCK SERIES SUCCESS: KHI has competed in 10 Truck Series events over the previous seven NASCAR seasons. During those races KHI has collected one pole, two victories, three top-five and six top-10 finishes between five different drivers including Matt Crafton, Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague, Ricky Carmichael and Shelby Howard. Hornaday is credited with both of KHI’s victories at the track.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 8 team will unload chassis No. 054 when they head to Kentucky Speedway. Crew chief Chris Carrier and the team last ran this chassis at Kansas Speedway where Piquet Jr. escaped damage after being involved in a minor incident on track, leaving him to fight his way to an eighth-place finish.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Nelson Piquet Jr. finished 13th at Texas Motor Speedway during the WinStar World Casino 400k after getting shuffled out of the top-10 on the last lap. The young driver qualified in the 10th position for the race and had powered the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado up to the fifth position before the exciting green-white-checkered finish.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Nelson Piquet Jr.
How do you feel heading into your first race at Kentucky Speedway?
“It will be exciting to head to another track on the circuit that is new to me. I have been told that the track surface is very rough which I’m used to from my open-wheel racing experience. I also really like the 1.5-mile size tracks. Our program for tracks this size has done well so far. I think the combination of racing surface and track size will help us continue to move in the right direction towards the goals we have for this season.”
THOUGHTS FROM THE PIT BOX: Chris Carrier
What are you looking forward to at Kentucky?
“I’ve always liked racing at Kentucky, but this weekend is going to be historic. This is the first time that all three of NASCAR’s premier divisions will be running at the track. The Truck Series is going to be racing under the lights, which always adds an additional excitement factor for the fans. Our 1.5-mile program has also done fairly well this season, so I’m feeling confident about this race.”
What sets Kentucky Speedway apart from other 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule?
“Kentucky Speedway has a really rough racing surface. The track is very fast and has a lot of grip, but it is incredibly rough which will add some challenge to finding the right setup for the truck. Fortunately, the Truck Series is scheduled to have two evening practice sessions that will allow us to get a better idea of how the truck might handle during race time. Racing in Kentucky is always fun and this should be an exciting race.”