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Trucks: Nelson Piquet Jr. wins at Vegas

Nelson Piquet Jr. claimed his second win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, pulling off a daring last-lap move on Matt Crafton at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. proved that he's really getting the hang of these ovals, by becoming only the third driver this year to notch up a repeat win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after claiming his second win of the year, this time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Smith's 350.

"It feels great, we really needed this win," said the Brazilian driver. "Probably the best win of my career. For sure, [it's one of the] top-five moments of my career."

Piquet had been starting from 13th place on the grid for the race, which was led to the green flag by polesitter Joey Coulter and fellow front row man Timothy Peters but which immediately hit trouble with a caution for a spin by veteran driver Todd Bodine in turn 4. Peters was just in the lead when the yellows came out.

Travis Pastrana was also in the field, making his Truck Series d├ębut at Las Vegas after a number of Nationwide Series starts in 2012, but he too hit early problems with a spin in turn 4 on lap 7 shortly after the restart. There was a third early caution for yet another turn 4 spinner - this time Chris Lafferty - on lap 15, meaning that half of the first 18 laps were run under caution.

Finally there were a dozen laps of green flag running, finally allowing Coulter to reclaim the lead he'd lost at the very start and Ty Dillon to move up into second place. But a fourth caution appeared on lap 30 and it was Lafferty the cause once more, this time having a more emphatic head-on accident into the SAFER barrier which put him out of the race. He was far from the first retirement, however, with ten trucks having already exited the race through assorted technical issues by this point including Ron Hornaday Jr. with an engine failure.

This latest caution enabled a first round of pit stops, and fuel-only stops put Parker Kligerman into the lead for the restart on lap 35 alongside James Buescher, although it was Bryan Silas who was credited with the lead the first lap under green before Kligerman stamped his authority on the race and started to pull away for what would be a mercifully uneventful 34-lap run at the front after the stop-start proceedings at the beginning of the race.

Kligerman's comfortable run at the front would come to an end when he was handed a drive-thru penalty for speeding on pit road during a green flag sequence of stops on lap 71, just before the race was put back under caution on lap 77 for debris at turn 2. While those yet to pit were able to do so now, Kligerman got his lap back thanks to the wavearound, although it was Joey Coulter who was now back in charge of the race again.

Coulter had to ward off a challenge from his Richard Childress Racing team mate Ty Dillon at the restart before he could find any comfort in the lead ahead of Matt Crafton and Nelson Piquet, but once he did so he would remain out in front through to lap 103 when the next caution of the afternoon came out for Brennan Newberry. With only just over 40 laps to go this was a good time for everyone to pit, but Ty Dillon ended up colliding with David Mayhew on pit road that did sufficient damage to force him to come back to his pit stall to have some crumpled bodywork ripped away from his punctured left-front tyre.

Mayhew led at the restart, but it was Nelson Piquet who had the pace to take charge of the race when the green flags came out. It was Piquet's second run at the front of the day, having also briefly inherited the lead when Kilgerman made his earlier penalty-fated pit stop. This time he was to remain out in front for all but one of the next 24 laps.




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Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith`s 350 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 28, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Nelson Piquet Jr. celebrates his second win the in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo supplied by: Rebecca Banks, Captivate Communications)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #30 Qualcomm Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Smith`s 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen at the Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, and Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, lead the field during a restart of the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates after winning at Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, applies the Winner`s Decal after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway on June 28, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Kroger/P&G Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 27, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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