He may be fairly new to NASCAR, but Nelson Piquet Jr. is already making racing history…
The 26-year-old stock car racing driver—the son of three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet Sr., one of Brazil’s most successful F1 drivers—held the lead on a late restart, then pulled away from the rest of the field on Saturday to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America. In the process, Piquet became the first Brazilian to win a race in NASCAR’s national touring series.
Piquet, a former Formula One driver, became a winner in only his third career Nationwide start after starting the race from pole position. Piquet’s extensive road racing experience seemed to pay off at the 4-mile, 14-turn road course that winds through the hills of central Wisconsin.
He’s now out to prove he belongs in NASCAR.
“I’m going to be here for a long time, hopefully,” said Piquet, who’s hoping Saturday’s win will catch the eye of a team owner willing to give his stock car racing career a boost.
“I think the best thing that could come out of this was to show team owners and bosses that I’m capable of doing it, if I just get the right car and the right team,” Piquet said.
Michael McDowell, who finished second, just couldn’t chase down Piquet at the end.
“His car was fast,” said McDowell. “I don’t know if we would have had anything for him if we could have just stayed with him on that restart.”
Following the race, Piquet got a phone call from his famous father.
“He was laughing,” Piquet said. “I don’t know if he had a beer or not. But he was very, very excited.”