News & Media


KHI's Piquet hopes to remain in Truck Series

September 18, 2011, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com

JOLIET, Ill. -- When Kevin Harvick announced he was shutting down his Camping World Truck Series team to put more focus on winning a Sprint Cup championship, four-time champion Ron Hornaday wasn't the only driver affected. The closing of Kevin Harvick Inc. after this season also leaves Nelson Piquet Jr. looking for a ride, and the rookie would like to stay with the trucks.

Switching gears


Kevin Harvick has moved his Nationwide team to Richard Childress and will close up KHI's Truck operation as Harvick focuses solely on a Cup championship.

"I'm still searching for a Truck team," said Piquet, who finished third in Friday's Truck Series event at Chicagoland Speedway. "It's not easy to find a Truck team at the level of KHI. If I knew which one it was, I'd have picked it a long time ago. So we're trying, seeing what our options are, seeing what's best available around."

The 26-year-old Brazilian and son of three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet is in his first full NASCAR season after dabbling in a variety of stock-car circuits last year. Friday brought the third top-five finish this season for Piquet, who has an average of 15th on the Truck Series this year. His best result of 2011 was a runner-up finish at Nashville in April.

"It's been a hard year," said Piquet, who like his father started as an open-wheel racer, and has 28 career starts in F1. "Not the results we wanted. We've always had the speed, always had good equipment, but sometimes I've been pushing a bit too hard. I think that's part of learning. I come from a whole different world. I'm loving what I'm going through. Days like [Friday] are amazing. It's nearly a victory for us. But we'll get there soon."

Piquet said he wouldn't rule out an opportunity in the Nationwide Series should one come along, but he'd prefer to continue his learning experience on the Truck tour.

"I think I need to wait for the right time," he said. "I think maybe win a few races in trucks, hopefully, next year. I'm not in a hurry. I still have a lot to learn. Everything is very new for me here. I think once I feel 100 percent comfortable here, and find the right time to go, the right team, right sponsorship, then I'll go. But until then, I think my place is still in trucks. [There's] still a lot to learn, still a lot of mileage to get under me, and when it's time, it's time."

2011 Statistics: Nelson Piquet Jr.

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