Piquet set for full season in Trucks
|By Diego Mejia||Monday, December 13th 2010, 05:46 GMT|
Nelson Piquet Jr is set to announce a full assault on the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series today, as he continues to move forward with his stock car racing career in the United States.
AUTOSPORT has learned that the Brazilian will compete full-time in NASCAR next year after taking part in a number of outings this season in the Nationwide, ARCA and Truck Series.
Piquet competed in five Truck series events during the year, kicking off with an impressive performance on his debut at Daytona in February where he finished sixth driving for Red Horse Racing. He did four further outings, scoring two more top-10 finishes at Texas and Michigan, while racing a Toyota Tundra for Billy Ballew Motorsports.
In the ARCA series he made his stock car debut in February at Daytona but his highlight came at Texas where he finished ninth after starting from pole position, racing a Toyota Camry for series frontrunner Eddie Sharp Racing.
In August Piquet raced in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide series for the first time, making good use of his road-course experience at Watkins Glen to claim a seventh-place finish at the wheel of a Ford Fusion from Baker Curb Racing.
Piquet will be one of two Brazilians competing in the series next year as his countryman Miguel Paludo, a former Porsche GT3 champion in Brazil, will be driving for Red Horse Racing.
Italian Max Papis, who ran a partial season this year, will also race full-time in trucks in 2011 for Germain Racing, while Indian Narain Karthikeyan is also expected to return after starting nine races this year for Starbeast Motorsports, taking an 11th-place finish at Texas as his best result.
The limited number of outings Piquet did this year in the Trucks will allow him to remain eligible for Rookie of the Year honours in 2011.
In recent years former Formula 1 racers Scott Speed and Jacques Villeneuve have used the Truck series as a stepping stone into NASCAR, Speed actually winning at Dover in his debut year.
Piquet will announce on Monday the team he will be competing for in 2011. His management has held talks with several outfits over the past few months, including some affiliated to well-established Sprint Cup squads.