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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]
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Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, poses in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident in front of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, as Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, drives away during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, race into turn one during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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