Nelson Piquet Jnr seeks new crashing opportunities in NASCAR

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nelson Piquet Jnr is off to race in America like his dad did
Nelson Piquet Jnr is off to race in America like his dad did

Nelson Piquet Jnr claims he will race in one of the NASCAR championships this year.

They’re welcome to him.

A statement on Piquet’s website says:

NASCAR is hugely challenging and nobody has ever come in as an outsider before and gone on to win it – it will be the ultimate challenge.
Nelson Piquet Jnr

He doesn’t make clear whether he will be the elite Sprint cup or a lower level such as the Nationwide league, Trucks championship or even one of the smaller sanctioned series. A spokesperson said he would confirm which series he will race in within the next few weeks.

Piquet tested a NASCAR truck in October last year. Recent F1 drivers who moved to NASCAR, such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve and Scott Speed, all ran in the lower leagues before contesting the Sprint cup.

I suspect that’s what Piquet plans to do before taking on the “ultimate challenge” of racing the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin in the Sprint cup.

All the F1 drivers who’ve turned their hands to NASCAR have found it a very different discipline to get to grips with. I can’t say how well Piquet will get on, but I do know I’m not sorry he isn’t staying in F1. What do you think?

Image (C) Renault/LAT

114 comments on “Nelson Piquet Jnr seeks new crashing opportunities in NASCAR”

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  1. I’d comment but the charter prevents swearing and insults.

    1. I though he was a punk for doing what he did. Then I thought it out and came to realize he is just immature and was being guided by a very convincing flavio. I’m sure he was just trying to keep his ride. I guess I’d say I’m immature as well since I’d crash a car to be in f1. He can do lots of that in nascar though, its a common occurance. I can only watch the end of the race for that reason, yellow after yellow etc. I have to hand it to nascar though, they are racers in that series.

      1. I agree, I think these statements are quite harsh on the kid, good luck to him because it is a very difficult catergory to master.

    2. exactly this guy is a dweeb and doesnt deserve the time…
      He should go and sit in the corner..and stay there…I dont want to hear from him or his d*&^ father again.

    3. Great Reply Hairs…i second your motion to refrain from comment due to prohibition on swearing and insults…

      what a ^&*(%&^$%^%#$%^$*%^&*()&*)

  2. Well I couldn’t really care less what he does.

    I still feel a little bit sorry for him though.

    1. I couldn’t care less also but not because of the crashgate but more because he wasn’t any good anyways.

  3. Luis Salvatierra
    12th January 2010, 15:47

    Absolutely, They can have him (Americans), He had the chance of a lifetime and he messed it up. So he is lucky to be still racing.

    1. LehonardEuler
      12th January 2010, 17:17

      He’s lucky not to be in jail for what he did.

      1. Get over your self,do think he was the only one to fallow orders…based on your thinking , M.S. should have been kicked out for driving into the side of J.V.

        1. Yeah, MS crashed a few times deliberately. Or stalled his car on track during quali to stop others completing their fast laps. He was ruthless. Yet because he won stuff, he’s a hero. Rosberg was right to say he was dangerous on the track. Piquet however, is just a pup. A loser in F1 terms, so no-one has time for him.

  4. I think he’s a silly man, and I also somewhat pity him.

  5. HounslowBusGarage
    12th January 2010, 15:56

    I think Junior is a victim of his father’s ambition. But do you really mean next year ,Keith – 2011? If you do, he could still be in F1 in 2010 . . .

    1. Nope, changed it. I knew I’d get caught out by the new year eventually…

    2. Praveen Titus
      12th January 2010, 17:36

      I know Piquet did something very serious and blamed it on others. It’s also sad that the Piquet name would be associated with Nelsinho’s disgraceful act rather than his father’s achievements in F1.

      But I wanted the Piquet name in F1. I’m emotional about it as I’m emotional about the Senna and Prost name in view of the great achievements they’ve made in the sport. Bruno Senna vs. Nelsinho Piquet – wouldn’t it have been great?

  6. Haha nice title!

    Nelson will definitely give the crowd what they want. Crashes, crashes and more crashes.

    1. You don’t know a thing about Nascar if you think the fans are eager for “crashes, crashes, and more crashes”. That is the only source of entertainment for non Nascar fans. Those of us who enjoy the sport do not do so for the crashes.

      1. Reminds me of this debate we had recently: What the average fan really thinks of F1

      2. I don’t think it’s a particuarly inaccurate thing to say about a series which celebrates and arguably encourages a crash called ‘The Big One’.

        I just found this sentence on Wikipedia:

        ‘By 2009, Talladega Superspeedway itself marketed itself on the notorious crashes, with a third-pound frankfurter sold at the track calling itself “The Big One”.’

        This has to be the most American sentence I’ve ever heard! Making money, crashing cars and fast food all in one sentence… didn’t think it was possible!

        1. For years, drivers, team owners and fans alike have been trying to get NASCAR to remove the rule for restrictor plates from Talladega and Daytona. The plate is what causes the Big One, cause it bunches up the cars and if there is a problem ahead, the rest of the pack is too close to get out of the way.

          A few other quotes from the same article you read on Wikipedia:

          By the mid-1990s, competitors and media began taking note of the multi-car wrecks at Daytona and Talladega. In 1997, Dale Earnhardt described a final-lap crash at the 1997 Pepsi 400 as “the Big Wreck”. News articles began using the term “Big Wreck” to describe such crashes in 1998, and by 1999, its use was widespread. Drivers began to openly admit they were apprehensive of its possibility.

          One of the first times the term “The Big One” was used on-air was during the Winston 500 on ESPN October 11, 1998. Commentator Bob Jenkins said during the crash on lap 134 “this is the big one we hoped we would not have”.

          During the 2001 Daytona 500 Fox commentator Darrell Waltrip used the term on-air to describe the crash on lap 173: “It’s the big one, gang; it’s The Big One. It’s what we’ve all been fearing.”

          As for Talladega using “The Big One” as a marketing tool, I suppose it was inevitable. It is rather like making lemonade instead of complaining about being given a bag of lemons. Considering the number of drivers and team owners and fans speaking out against restrictor plate racing, I don’t think anyone really in the know actually enjoys seeing a huge crash.

          I’d also like to mention that while so many F1 fans apparently condemn NASCAR by sating it’s all about crashes, there are also many F1 fans that wish for rain to alleviate a boring race–but isn’t running in the rain a recipe for shunts? And stop to think a moment–every F1 race starts with drivers going hell-bent-for-leather down the straight into either a tight chicane or hairpin–also a recipe for shunts. I don’t think it is only NASCAR that enjoys the occasional crash.

    2. I second that. We want to see good racing not a bunch of wrecks wether it is in F1 or NASCAR.

  7. Don’t think he should be allowed to drive anything whether it is in F1 or NASCAR or another series. I actually feel sorry for NASCAR, they don’t deserve to have a cheat.

    1. I agree. He shouldn’t be allowed to race in anything what so ever. It’s a real shame he’s got away with cheating and got a drive in a very well known racing series :(

      1. Agree with both of you.

  8. My feelings for Nelsinho are fast changing from dislike to pity. Perhaps I’m going all soft, but I do think the real villains of Singapore are Briatore and Symonds*

    *this depends on whether or not Piquet Jr was the one to come up with the whole damn plan in the first place

    1. I actually felt little dislike for Nelsinho in the first place, apart from the fact that he did it. He just strikes me as a stupid kid. Flavio and Symonds never had any excuse.

    2. What he did was immoral and there is absolutely no excuse for him to do what he did let alone agree to it in the first place, BUT I can’t imagine that it was his plan to start with.. I believe that Briatore and Symonds were the masterminds and he wrongfuly followed.

      Did they threaten his career? Was he under pressure to please his father and did this to ensure his place in F1? Did he tell his father about it, and what did he think? Did they purposefully agree to do it to have something to hold against Flavio if something arises in the future..

      If he was really cornered or bullied into doing it to please Flavio, then I do feel sorry for him that he ruined his dream career in such a reckless way and didn’t have the strength to stand up for what he believes in.. But if he liked the idea and happily agreed to do it, then I think as many of you said no series deserves him.. He’d be too dangerous to have around..

    3. Both Symonds and Mr X stated that Piquet came up with the idea on saturday, just after qualifying.

      Apart from Piquet being outnumbered (by witnesses who have nothing to gain from lying about it), it makes much more sense than Piquet’s claim that they asked him to crash just before the race started.

  9. I’d be surprised to see him jump straight to NASCAR. Even Dario Franchitti struggled straight into NASCAR from IRL. It’s not easy and you can be left as a non-qualifier all to easily and that’ll upset the sponsors.

    I won’t miss him. Anyone who crashes a car on purpose is not someone who I want to see in F1. Unless of course he has secretly somehow saved the world by doing so but is not allowed to tell us.

  10. Well, I think we are talking about a second (or third, or fourth) tier driver.
    Doesn’t interest me too much. The title is nice.

  11. Well of all the open wheels drivers to try NASCAR in the last few years, on JPM has had sucess and he is getting better every year. I dont want to see Nelson Piquet Jr in F1, or NASCAR.

  12. They turn left all the time in NASCAR don’t they?? And wasn’t THAT corner in Singapore a left hand bend…

    …yeah he should do fine!!

    1. If, by fine, you mean crashing at the first corner of every race, then yes. :D

  13. If he likes to crash cars he can go to a specialty called the Demolition Derby, and that´s all they do : big old sedans crashing into each other ! the last one standing wins.

    1. Sadly, he’ll probably total his car within seconds by crashing into the nearest wall on his left.

      1. There aren’t many walls on the left in NASCAR are there? lol

  14. I’m glad he’s in NASCAR as that means I wont be seeing him, or his dad, anytime soon.

  15. inc0mmunicado
    12th January 2010, 16:31

    I don’t see how he’ll be able to race in a series sponsored by a car insurance company (Nationwide) with his driving record…

    NASCAR is a sponsor-driven sport. He is a toxic PR nightmare, even for his rivals and their sponsors.

    1. Not necessarily. 99% of Nascar fans don’t know who he is, much less what he did in F1. I love Nascar and F1 but most American racing fans hate F1 unfortunately. His F1 past will be of no significance here. He would truly have a fresh start but I don’t know what team here would want him. Every open wheel driver except JPM has had a disaster here and even JPM hasn’t won on an oval yet.

      1. Please don’t be so quick to have assumptions about Nascar fans. Living in the US Nascar is obviously the main form of racing, and I know of fans that just watch Nascar.

        Surprisingly though the majority of the fans (casual and hardcore)I talk to about Nascar racing do know who Nelson Jr. is, and what he did. Hell they even know who Flavio is. They may not follow F1 but more than you think know about the crashgate scandal.

      2. American_F1_Fan
        14th January 2010, 22:07

        I’d have to disagree that most American racing fans hate F1. I don’t really know any that HATE it, most of them either know next to nothing about it, or just don’t care about it.

  16. Nelson Piquet Jnr seeks new crashing opportunities in NASCAR

    Bwahahaha – excellent!

  17. Well I dont have the same hate for him you all seem to. At the end of the day he was naive – his Team Owner/Manager ordered him to do what he did – it’s briatore that should be blamed for this, he was simply doing what his bosses told him to. Naive… maybe. Poor decision… definately. But I don’t think for one minute that it was his idea. I for one would like to see him have one more chance in F1.

    1. Nelsinho, is that you? ;)

    2. This may be seen as a slightly over the top comparison, but the Nazis used the “just following orders” excuse as well. It didn’t wash then and it doesn’t wash now.
      Ultimately it’s an individual’s choice whether they want to follow an order or not.

      1. It washed for Hamilton during Liegate.

        1. Penelope Pitstop
          12th January 2010, 19:04

          Ooooh! *giggle*

          You know, I’ve been saying the same thing. Hamilton didn’t endanger anyone, obviously, but it’s the principle of the thing…

        2. Not with me it didn’t.
          And not to defend Hamilton at all but the important difference is that Piquet’s actions put lives at risk.

        3. He was disqualified from that race and lost a thoroughly deserved 3rd spot.

          I’d hardly call that “washed”

      2. José Baudaier
        12th January 2010, 20:22

        Godwin’s Law.

      3. Agree completely with you hitchcockm00. Fact is Flavio could have shouted ‘crash’ as much as he wanted but it was up to Piquet whether he drove into the wall.
        Same in Hamilton’s case. Obviously Piquet’s situation is a lot more serious and he risked the safety of others but both cases come down to choice.

        1. jraybay-lewismclarenfan
          13th January 2010, 16:59

          Piquet doesn’t have enough dignity, apparently, to keep the car off the wall. Also It was mclarens idea…. Dave ryans order to let Trulli past. Lewis let him by to be safe but miscommunication between the f.i.a, lewis and mclaren led to the panalty. 2010 is mclarens year :D .

    3. Piquet says he was ordered to do it. Symonds AND mr X say that Piquet came up with the idea.

  18. He should have let the Singapore crash fade into obscurity rather than blowing the whistle. He would probably be in an F1 cockpit this year if he had kept his mouth shut. I think the Piquets were more interested in “getting even” with Briatore for sacking Piquet Jr.

    How do the previous drivers that crashed on purpose. How do these “crashers” fit into F1 history? Senna? Schumacher? Prost? Piquet should be viewed differently for crashing? I find it hard to judge him solely on crashing. The greats are guilty too.

    1. Sorry for the typo, I meant to say:

      “How about previous drivers that crashed on purpose.”

  19. The title is plain brilliant.

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