Nelson Piquet Jr was delighted with his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Daytona Beach in Florida this weekend, with the Brazilian coming through the field to finish in sixth.
Competing for Red Horse Racing in the #1 Toyota Tundra truck at the NextEra Energy Resources 250 event, Piquet Jr started the 100-lap, 250 mile race from 22nd out of 36 cars. He made immediate progress after the start, deftly avoiding a first lap incident, and was already up to 12th by lap 25. Driving round another incident, he was able to take advantage and move up to seventh and actually ran as high as second after a round of pitstops.
He lost positions after the restart following a caution period but regained some spots on the final lap and eventually crossed the line in a very pleasing sixth position.
“First of all I need to thank Red Horse Racing and Toyota. The car was great all through the race and they put me in a position to be racing side-by-side at the front, which was great for my first race at Daytona,” said the former Renault F1 driver. “I knew it would be tough, but never this much, I learned a lot.
“NASCAR is very intense racing, driving for three hours is very demanding on the drivers and the equipment and I think the bodywork on my truck showed how NASCAR is a contact sport! It was a battle to stay out of trouble but I'm really happy to have ended the race in a strong position.
“I'd like to take this opportunity to say sorry to any of the drivers if I made any mistakes, but this was my first race and I'm learning. It's been a long time since I had this much fun and I can't wait for the next one!”