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Nelson Piquet Jr. to get Sprint Cup start

Nelson Piquet Jr. will get his first start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Watkins Glen International.
Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will take part in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend, driving the #77 Randy Humphrey Racing Ford Fusion at Watkins Glen International.

The 29-year-old Brazilian has previously competed in the Nationwide and Truck Series championships, making 54 starts in Trucks following his series début in 2010. He made his Nationwide début two years later at Watkins Glen and finished in the top ten; he went on to claim his first pole and victory at Road America in 2012 in what was only his third start in the Nationwide Series.

This year Piquet has been competing full-time for SH Racing Rallycross in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, in which he leads the driver championship points standings by 46 points after five of ten races, but returns for a one-off appearance back in stock cars this weekend with the restructured Randy Humphrey Racing team.

"Ever since I made my NASCAR Nationwide Series début at The Glen in 2010, I've wanted to do the same in a Sprint Cup car," he said. "I've really enjoyed racing in other series this year, but I've missed being in the NASCAR garage. I'm very grateful to Randy Humphrey, Bray Pemberton and WORX Yard Tools for making this opportunity happen."

"Nelson Piquet Jr. is an extremely talented race car driver," said Humphrey. "It's been impressive to watch him race, not just in NASCAR, but in Formula One and Rallycross as well. He's excelled at all levels of racing and we're very excited about his Sprint Cup Series début with RHR."

Milka Duno gets Nationwide seat

Venezuelan race car driver Milka Duno will get a limited-season run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with RAB Racing, making her the first Hispanic female driver in history to compete in a NASCAR national series in the United States.

Duno has experience in ARCA, American Le Mans and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. She's perhaps best known for her time in the IndyCar Series with partial schedules between 2007 and 2009 and a full time campaign in 2010 with Dale Coyne Racing.

"I'm really very excited and honoured to enter into NASCAR and the Nationwide Series," said Duno. "It has always been a goal and dream of mine to compete in NASCAR and I worked very hard in ARCA to turn this goal into a reality.

"I always strive to challenge myself as a driver and I've been fortunate to compete in many types of racing - and while the competition is always my number one focus - I am very proud of the history that I have made as a female driver, and the Hispanic sports history as well, that has been made along the way.

"NASCAR is the most competitive and popular racing series in the USA and I'm very proud to enter the series with RAB Racing and I look forward to competing with them in their No. 29 Toyota Camry."

"We've watched Milka develop in the ARCA Racing Series and feel she is prepared for the next step in her stock car racing career," said RAB Racing owner Robby Benton. "I think that working together with [crew chief] Chris Rice, Milka can find a home in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

She has a very strong fan base and we hope we can attract them to follow her in her NASCAR endeavours," he added. "Milka is very intelligent and educated and we look forward to working with her."

The team said that she would run 'select races' in the remainder of the 2014 Nationwide season but did not immediately reveal which ones or how many outings there would be.

Nationwide, Truck teams penalised

Three teams have been handed penalties following last weekend's races at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the Rick Ware Racing #23 team was found to have broken the rule regarding the manner in which weights are added to the car; the weight in question was improperly attached and fell out during the race at Iowa. As a result, crew chief Jonas Bell has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until December 31. There were no penalties for the driver of the car, Carl Long.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the Red Horse Racing #17 team breached regulations regarding the combined thickness of the throttle shaft and the throttle plates used during opening day inspection at Pocono. As a result crew chief Paul Richmond has been fined $7,500 and placed on NASCAR probation until the end of the year, a P3-level penalty under NASCAR's new system. Again there were no penalties for the driver, Timothy Peters.

Finally, the #6 truck owned and driven by Norm Benning was found in violation of a rule covering air wedges that occurred during the race itself. This was deemed a P1 penalty and earned the team a loss of track time in opening practice at Michigan International Speedway on August 15.

Felix Sabates' grandson killed in accidental shooting

The grandson of Felix Sabates, who co-owns and runs the Chip Ganassi Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup team which employs drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, has been killed in a reported accidental shooting in Florida on Saturday night.

According to The Palm Beach Post, Feliciano Sabates was shot by a 17-year-old friend who was allegedly drunk and on drugs. A group of friends has been playing with a 9mm pistol when one of them pointed it at Sabates' chest and fired; the teenager was subsequently charged with manslaughter.



Related Pictures

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Milka Duno - Dale Coyne Racing   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
19-20 June, 2010, Newton, iowa USA #18 CITGO Dale Coyne Racing`s Milka Duno.
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 #30 Qualcomm/Autotrac Chevrolet, poses after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 9, 2012, in Avondale, Ariz. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr. claims pole position in the Inaugural Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway. April 2012. [Photo credit: Rainer Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Nelson Piquet Jr. celebrates with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sargento 200 at Road America on June 23 in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cars race during 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)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/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)

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