PIQUET JR. MAGICALLY ESCAPES 10-CAR PILE-UP UNSCATHED; FINISHES SEVENTH IN NATIONWIDE SERIES DEBUT WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 8, 2010) -- Nelson Piquet Jr. did his best Houdini impression magically escaping a 10-car pile-up on his way to ...
PIQUET JR. MAGICALLY ESCAPES 10-CAR PILE-UP UNSCATHED; FINISHES SEVENTH IN NATIONWIDE SERIES DEBUT
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 8, 2010) -- Nelson Piquet Jr. did his best Houdini impression magically escaping a 10-car pile-up on his way to a seventh-place finish in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday at Watkins Glen International Speedway. The 25-year old Brazilian driver weaved his way in and out of wrecking cars and came through the pile-up with his No. 27 ArcSight/G2 Gemini Ford Fusion unscathed. Piquet Jr., who finished sixth in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in February at Daytona International Speedway, has now earned a top- 10 finish in his debut in both series and has registered four top-10 finishes in five career NASCAR starts.
"I think a lot of people expected me to be successful this weekend because this was a road course race and I was an open-wheel driver" said Piquet Jr. "It really was a complicated weekend. I had just one practice to learn a new track, in a new car with a new team. It was a lot different than I expected. Once I got on the track in practice, I knew I had to run as many laps as possible and try to learn as much as I could in the two hours. We ended up qualifying well and the ArcSight/G2 Gemini Ford Fusion ran in the top 10 for most of the race. I wasn't prepared to do any Nationwide Series races this season, but Baker Curb Racing provided me with a great opportunity. I love new challenges and I think when all was said and done, I lived up to the challenge."
After finishing Friday's practice 22nd-fastest, Piquet Jr. bounced back to qualify ninth for Saturday's race. In the early stages of the race he communicated to crew chief John Reese that his No. 27 ArcSight/G2 Gemini Ford Fusion was a little tight in the high-speed turns of the 2.45-mile road course.
On lap 15 Piquet Jr. was running ninth when he brought his Ford Fusion down pit road. The Baker Curb Racing crew put on four fresh tires, filled it with fuel and returned the No. 27 to the track. After the first round of green-flag pit stops cycled through, he was scored in the 12th position.
The first caution of the race occurred on lap 19 and Reese elected to bring the No. 27 ArcSight/G2 Gemini Ford Fusion down pit road to top off with fuel. When the race restarted on lap 24, Piquet Jr. was scored in the 20th position. As the field made their way into Turn 2, cars began piling up across the width of the course, leaving little room for cars to advance. Somehow Piquet Jr. managed to weave his way in and out of the fracas without damage. After the red-flag was displayed to allow the safety workers to clear the rubbish on the track, Reese radioed to his driver to see if there was any damage to the car. Piquet Jr. responded, "I am magic man, I did not hit anything!"
When the race restarted on lap 27, the No. 27 was scored in the 10th position. As the race continued under green-flag conditions, Piquet Jr. settled into the 11th spot until pit stops began on lap 47. He had advanced into fourth position before bringing his No. 27 ArcSight/G2 Gemini Ford Fusion down pit road on lap 51. The Baker Curb Racing crew put on four fresh tires, filled it with fuel and returned him to the track scored in the 12th position.
The third caution of the race occurred on lap 53, with the No. 27 scored in the 12th position. Four cars elected to come down pit road and when the race restarted on lap 57, Piquet Jr. was scored in the eighth position. The second-generation driver made his way past Nationwide Series regular Steve Wallace shortly after the restart to move into seventh spot, where he would remain for the rest of the race.
-source: baker curb racing