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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.



Related Pictures

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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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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