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Trucks: Kahne benefits from Piquet stumble

Kasey Kahne won Sunday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Rockingham Speedway, after former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. was handed a pit lane penalty.
While the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams and drivers were away competing in Texas for the weekend, the Camping World Truck Series enjoyed a rare Sunday of racing action in the spotlight back in NASCAR's North Carolina heartland, at the banked 1.017-mile oval Rockingham Speedway.

The race marked NASCAR's return to The Rock for the first time since the Sprint Cup Series decided that it had outgrown the 35,000-capacity facility eight years ago, but the overwhelming enthusiasm with which this weekend's race was greeted by fans, teams and drivers alike might prompt a rethink of the track's ongoing place on the calendar in the future.

The conflicting races over in Texas meant that no Cup or Nationwide series regulars were present for practice or qualifying sessions, leaving former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. the opportunity to claim his first pole position in 33 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His lap of 24.933s (144.387mph) was just one thousandth of a second faster than series rookie Paulie Harraka.

Despite the scheduling clash, two Cup drivers - Kasey Kahne and David Reutimann - did get on a plane and arrived back in North Carlina in time to compete in the Sunday afternoon Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 race itself, albeit having to start from the back row because of their earlier in-attendance.

Piquet led from the start and for the first 67 laps of the 200-lap race, before a restart following a debris caution allowed Matt Craven to take over in front for nearly 20 laps. Piquet regained the lead again on lap 83 and lost it for only one lap during green flag pit stops, and looked more than capable of seeing off any threat to what could have proved to be his first win in a national NASCAR series race.

Unfortunately for the Brazilian, his next stop under caution for an accident on lap 122 involving Reutimann and series rookie Bryan Silas was a slow one and dropped him down to fifth where he got caught up in traffic. During his final pit stop he was focused on trying to make up for the earlier delays and overcompensated on his exit, promptly getting handed a pit lane speeding penalty as a result. It was all he could do to battle his way back into the top ten by the end of the race.

"I was trying to recover the position on a pit stop after I lost the lead, and I pushed it too much and went over the limit," he confirmed. "It happened. It's the first time I've had something like that happen.

"I didn't think that I was going to get penalized, just because the exit was so short [from my pit box] and my wheels were spinning so much. I had no idea," continued Piquet. "I didn't feel like I pushed it too hard, I guess I just went a fraction too fast and pushed it just over the limit."

In total, Piquet had led for 107 laps, but after that pit stop fumble he had to watch from afar as first Timothy Peters and then Matt Craven took charge of the race. Craven was looking very strong for the win - until Kasey Kahne completed his surge from the back of the grid and took over the lead on lap 155.




Related Pictures

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Nelson Piquet Jr. ahead of qualifying for the Inaugural Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway. April 2012. [Photo credit: Rainer Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #4 Rockwell Tools Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway on April 15, 2012 in Rockingham, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy, driver of the #11 Local Motors Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands in the garage during a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Kellogg/Cheez-It Ford, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, and Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, and Landon Cassill, driver of the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet, race three-wide during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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