CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2011) — For the second week in a row, a last-lap incident ruined a good finish for the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado team. In a Friday night showdown at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Nelson Piquet Jr. drove the No. 8 Kevin Harvick Inc. (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.
The No. 8 team unloaded at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday morning and looked to get off to a quick start during the morning practice sessions at the 1.5-mile track..
After a solid qualifying effort, Piquet Jr. lined up in the seventh position for the start of the N.C. Education Lottery 200. When the green flag waved on the warm spring evening, the Brazilian driver looked to improve upon his previous 16th-place finish earned last season at the track. By lap 13, Piquet Jr. moved up to the sixth position.
Piquet Jr. was holding steady in the 10th position by lap 36, and radioed to the crew that he was very happy with his truck. A caution flew on lap 52, providing an opportunity for the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet Silverado to come down pit road. The KHI crew changed four tires, made an air-pressure adjustment and added fuel to the No. 8 machine.
Piquet Jr. took the green flag on lap 54 restarting the 14th position and wasted little time climbing through the pack. By lap 60 the young driver settled into the eighth position.
Over the course of the green-flag run, Piquet Jr. relayed that his KHI Chevrolet was a little loose between turns two and three, but was not loose enough to have to make an immediate change. Sitting in the seventh position on lap 68, he continued to look confident on the track.
The field was slowed by a caution on lap 75 due to a multi-truck accident. The No. 8 team utilized the caution as an opportunity to bring the Chevrolet Silverado down pit road for a fuel-only pit stop. As the field raced back to full speed, he forced his way toward the front of the pack, settling in the second position. The Brazilian driver radioed back to his crew that he was fighting a loose-handling truck, and in turn fell back to the sixth position by lap 95.
Running in the seventh position with the event drawing closer to the end, the racing action began to heat up as Piquet Jr. raced three-wide through the corners on lap 116. Still fighting loose conditions as he sailed around the track, Piquet Jr. looked for guidance from crew chief Chris Carrier on lap 128. Carrier reminded the rookie driver to utilize his brake fans and to remain calm throughout the final laps.
As the white flag waved, Piquet Jr. tried to catch the No. 13 truck running in front of him in the sixth position. Coming around turn four, Piquet got loose and began spinning down pit road. The leaders crossed the finish line as the No. 8 Chevrolet took another lap to finish the event. Kyle Busch grabbed the checkered flag with Piquet Jr. scoring a 21st-place finish.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to action at Kansas Speedway on June 4th for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. Watch live coverage on SPEED beginning at 1 p.m. CT.
Comments from driver, Nelson Piquet Jr.:
“It was a pretty tough day. We had such a good truck all day long, and I know the guys have been working hard to get this truck prepared. We continued to improve throughout the race, and I got into a rhythm. When the white flag flew, I risked it too much trying to get around the No. 13, and spun. It is a disappointing finish for the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet team because we all worked so hard, but we are going to regroup and get back at it in two weeks in Kansas.”
May 20, 2011
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race: 7 of 25
Driver’s Point Standings: 19 (-93)
Up Next On The Truck Series Schedule:
Date: June 4, 2011
Track: Kansas Speedway
Event Name: O’Reilly Auto Parts 250
Broadcast: SPEED at 1 p.m. CT