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.