NASCAR »

Trucks: Piquet clinches first series win

It was touch and go whether Piquet could make it to the end of the race without another pit stop, but it was worth a shot. And so he dug in, slowed up to conserve enough fuel to allow him to have a chance of making it to the end, and watched the race unfold ahead of him.

"I knew that Nelson is very good at saving fuel," said Carrier of his belief that they could make the strategy work. "It comes very natural to him ... He's got very good throttle control, very good car control. He knows how to draft."

Busch was still in control of the race and leading the restart but he stil had to make a final pit stop of his own, which he did on lap 79 as the rest of the field cycled through pit lane. On lap 89, that shuffle left Piquet out on front again on his own, but the team were still anxious about the fuel situation and getting their driver to slow down and do whatever he had to to lean out the fuel use.

Carrier admitted that the fuel situation was so near the knuckle that he even considered a late splash-and-dash eight laps from the end: "We changed our minds three times in one lap," said Carrier about the deliberations. In the end, "We kind of just rolled the dice."

Piquet's speed on lap 90 was 184.952 mph; on the final lap it was down to 158.580 mph. "I was getting a bit scared of putting down second gear and just coasting," admitted Piquet. "I was going half-throttle already. They told me to back off more, that's why I was worried - I didn't know who the second place was."

But his margin over the field was such that when he did finally cross the line and claim the chequered flag, he was still eight seconds ahead of Jason White who was on a similar fuel-stretching strategy. Rookie Dakoda Armstrong held on to third place ahead of Parker Kligerman making his d├ębut as driver of the #7 Toyota for Red Horse Racing after being dropped by Brad Keseelowski's squad. Polesitter Joey Coulter ended up coming home in seventh place ahead of Keselowski in eighth and Kurt Busch in ninth.

"It was fun to get back in the trucks," said Busch, who despite the disappointment of missing out on the win that had seemed rightfully his for much of the afternoon was in pretty upbeat spirits nonetheless. "I really enjoyed myself out there and wanted to do a good job for Kyle and I think we got that done as far as evaluating our program. His program. I say 'Ours' because we're brothers and it's fun to do this together."

But all eyes were on the man celebrating his first series victory: "It came in a dramatic way, but it came. It doesn't matter how, but we did it!" he said. "It is a little weight off my back and for the whole family. I am just living to do what our family always did, win races and win championships."

It's the breakthrough win that he really wanted, after earlier this winning a regional race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, and then following that up with victory in just his third NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Road America, putting his F1 experience to good use on the road course.

"I want to prove to fans that I can win in any car that they put me into," added Piquet, delighted with his win on the two-mile Michigan oval to show that he's not just another road course ringer from overseas motor racing championships. "Now we have a K&N, Truck and a Nationwide win. Hopefully, we'll get a Cup win soon!"

In the championship standings, Piquet's win raises him to eighth place, 57pts off co-leaders Timothy Peters and Ty Dillon.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Joey Coulter leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series field to the green flag to start the VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Nelson Piquet celebrates winning the VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway, his first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field after a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Splash-FVP/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
German Quiroga, driver of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.