Strong Night at Kentucky for Nelson Piquet Jr. Ends with 22nd-Place


SPARTA, Ky. (July 8, 2011) — Nelson Piquet Jr. finished 22nd at Kentucky Speedway in the UNOH 225 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after getting caught up in a late-race incident. Piquet Jr. earned his career-best Truck Series qualifying position, placing him in the third place 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 at the Sparta, Ky. facility. With three laps remaining in the 150-lap event, Piquet Jr. was caught up in an accident, bringing his night to an early end.

Piquet Jr. came to the green flag for the start of the UNOH 225 running in the third position. The No. 8 truck was quickly shuffled back in the pack as the field came up to full speed. The first caution of the race fell on lap five. The No. 8 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team stayed on track with Piquet Jr. in the 13th position for the restart.  The caution waved a second time on lap 19 for oil on the track. Once again, the team kept Piquet Jr. on track, allowing him to restart in the fourth place. Back under green-flag conditions, the driver wheeled the No. 8 Silverado into the second position by lap 30, and he began to reel in race leader and teammate Elliott Sadler in the No. 2 KHI entry.

As Piquet Jr. worked his way towards the front, he relayed to crew chief Chris Carrier that his truck was becoming tight. Carrier encouraged his driver to keep digging and reminded him that he was the fastest truck on the track. Piquet Jr. took over the lead position on lap 52 when Sadler headed into the pits for his green-flag pit stop and led the field for two laps before bringing the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet down pit road. The team made their first green-flag pit stop on lap 54 taking four tires and fuel. Just as Piquet Jr. was starting to move back through the field, NASCAR waved the yellow flag for the third time on lap 59. After the quick caution, the No. 8 Chevrolet took the restart from the 18th position.

The fourth caution of the night came on lap 72. The No. 8 team opted to remain on track restarting from the 12th position, with the fifth caution following shortly after on lap 77. The No. 8 team again opted to stay out of the pits leaving Piquet Jr. to restart the race on lap 82 in the seventh position. With 50 laps remaining in the event, the driver had worked his way into the top five and continued his run to the front. With less than 40 laps to go, Piquet Jr. moved into the second position.

The team needed to make one final pit stop before the race came to an end. Carrier called Piquet Jr. to pit road for his second green-flag pit stop on lap 120. The No. 8 team went to work bolting on four tires and filling the truck with fuel. The truck returned to the track in the 14th spot but charged to the front moving back into third with ten laps remaining.

The final caution of the night was brought out on lap 147 when multiple trucks connected coming out of turn four collecting the No. 8 Bozzano/Jontex Chevrolet. Piquet Jr. wheeled the truck onto pit road for the crew to assess the damage. The truck sustained damage to the radiator during the accident which led to an early end for the team, leaving Piquet Jr. to settle for a 22nd place finish.

The Truck Series will be back on track next Saturday, July 16 for the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee at Iowa Speedway. Catch the action live on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET and MRN at 7:45 p.m. ET.


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