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Nelson Piquet Jr set for Nationwide outing

Nelson Piquet Jr. is set to compete in this week's season finale in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which will mark his début in the series on an oval track.
Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. is getting a chance to run on the oval track at Homestead-Miami Speedway in a Nationwide Series car as well as a Truck Series entry this weekend, as he takes part in the series finale Ford 300 event on Saturday afternoon.

It won't be Piquet's Nationwide series début, as he competed in one of the Nationwide road courses last year, at Watkins Glen, where he finished in seventh place just ahead of another road course specialist Jacques Villeneuve. But it's still a welcome development for the 26-year-old Brazilian driver, who is hoping to join the likes of Danica Patrick and Austin Dillon as a rookie in Nationwide competition in 2012.

"I am so looking forward to this weekend at Homestead," Piquet said in the press announcement, optimistic that his year racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship will put him in good stead. "I seem to do quite well at this style of track [1.5 mile ovals] and I've learned so much during the course of the season."

Piquet has five top-five and seven top-ten finishes in 12 starts on intermediate ovals in the Truck Series, and as a result Piquet said that he was "heading into the truck race with a lot of confidence in myself and my team" at Homestead. He'll be driving the #30 Turner Motorsports car.

"I'm excited to be getting in a Nationwide car again," Piquet said. "Last year I got a good result at Watkins Glen so if I can get another result like that it will be fantastic.”

Piquet will also be running as usual in the matching Camping World Truck Series Ford 200 134-lap event at the same venue on Friday evening. Piquet is currently in tenth place in the Truck series standings in his rookie season driving the Kevin Harvick Inc. #8 Piquet Realty Chevrolet Silverado.

"We are only five points behind Joey Coulter for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award, and I'm hoping that after the race this weekend we'll be able to take over the lead," he said. "A solid finish will also help me achieve my primary goal of the season, finishing within the top-ten in the Driver Point standings."

Piquet finished in fourth place at the most recent Truck Series event, the WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway. His best result in the series was second at Nashville earlier in the year, but he's still searching for that elusive first trip to victory lane.

NASCAR is shown in the UK on satellite subscription channel Premier Sports TV, which announced last week that it would be showing all three main NASCAR series season finales (Cup, Nationwide and Truck) live this weekend, a UK first.



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Nelson Piquet Jr. at his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Daytona on 13 February, 2010 [Picture credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #8 Qualcomm/Autotrac Chevrolet, sits in his truck for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fast Five 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 16 in Joliet, Ill. [Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 6, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with his wife, Chandra and daughters Genevieve and Lydia Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, crosses the finish line for the victory Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins. (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Toyota, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS drives to victory Thursday, February 18, 2016 winning the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Can-Am Duel races at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. This is Earnhardt Jr.`s second consecutive Duel victory. He will start on the inside of Row 2 for Sunday`s Daytona 500 race. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)
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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, poses in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Can-Am Duels at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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