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NASCAR NEWS 

Nelson Piquet Jr. to make Homestead Nationwide oval debut

Nelson PiquetNelson Piquet Jr will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series maiden oval outing next weekend in the season-finale at Homestead.

The 26-year-old will be on double duty during the closing race weekend of NASCAR's national series, competing Friday in the Truck Series finale for Kevin Harvick to round out a positive first season, while Saturday he will drive for Turner Motorsports in the second-tier series.

Piquet had already raced a Nationwide Series car last year, finishing seventh at Watkins Glen for team owner Mike Curb, but Saturday's race will mark his first series' outing in an oval.

The Brazilian will also be fighting for Rookie of the Year Honors in the Truck Series against Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter.

"I am so looking forward to this weekend at Homestead," said Piquet. "I seem to do quite well at this style of track and I've learned so much during the course of the season. I'm heading into the truck race with a lot of confidence in myself and my team.

"We are only five points behind Joey Coulter for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award, and I'm hoping that after the race this weekend we'll be able to take over the lead. A solid finish will also help me achieve my primary goal of the season, finishing within the top-10 in the Driver Point standings.

"I'm excited to be getting in a Nationwide car again. Last year I got a good result at Watkins Glen so if I can get another result like that it will be fantastic."

Last April Piquet claimed his best Truck Series result by finishing second at Nashville and more recently he was a contender for victory at Kentucky - an intermediate tracks as Nashville and Homestead - where he led the race for 40 laps en route to a fourth-place finish, one of five top-five finishes he has claimed in his first full season in NASCAR.

The former Formula 1 racer expects to take a step up in the NASCAR ladder next year by competing full-time in the Nationwide Series.

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