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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)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with third place finisher Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, races to a third place finish Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, and David Ragan, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stand on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earnhardt, Jr. is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A general view of the track at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, celebrates with Eldora track owner Tony Stewart after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic, at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, gets the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic, at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, does a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Christopher Bell, driver of the #54 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota, leads the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 22, 2015 in Rossburg, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place on Sunday, July 19, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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