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. very appropriate title for this article, thanks!

  2. Now we just need rid of Nakajima!

  3. I’d love to meet the bloke who gave him this drive and ask him what the benefits are – other than money.

    1. The benefits are for his teammate :D

  4. I cant think of any other team getting as much publicity as the team employing NPJ will be getting!

  5. Great headline Keith. I almost peed myself when I saw that!

  6. Well I am glad he is not going to be in F1.

    Could anyone please tell me how the NASCAR community in general view the events of Singapore 2008, was the race fixing scandal even big news in America other than with F1 fans?

    Also what is the opinion on Piquet Jnr himself with NASCAR followers, will he be just another former F1 driver, and is that generally a positive or a negative, I know a few F1 fans make jokes about NASCAR such as only turning left and seem to look down on it so I wondered what NASCAR thought of F1?

    If he came back to F1 I wouldn’t be surprised if he received a hostile reception from spectators, what are the chances of a response like this from NASCAR fans?

    1. “Could anyone please tell me how the NASCAR community in general view the events of Singapore 2008, was the race fixing scandal even big news in America other than with F1 fans?”

      haha, I bet the NASCAR community didnt even watch Singapore 2008 F1 and so they probably dont know anything about it. :)

      1. The events of Singapore ’08 are the norm for NASCAR fans ;)

        1. Now, before I posted the scathing reply that first came to mind, I thought I’d first ask just exactly what was meant by that remark?

          Did you mean to say that crashes or cheating, or both, are the norm for NASCAR fans?

          1. I meant nothing, it was in jest. I don’t know enough about the sport to make any informed remarks about it.

    2. This was a complete non story in America unless you are an F1 fan. If Schumacher was killed in a race, it might get a ten second mention in the main stream sports media here.

      I love both. But most Nascar fans find F1 painfully boring. Your basic American fan loves personalities, rivalries, side by side racing, and close finishes. F1 doesn’t give them this.

      There will be no responce from American fans. People don’t know who he is and recent history has told us that former open wheel drivers will no be competitive in Nascar.

      1. I did see a few things on “Crash Gate” in the mainstream American sports media- not much, but a few mentions here or there. Honestly, some of it may have to do with the fact that Renault hasn’t sold a car here in decades- if he were driving a BMW, Toyota or Honda, it may have been a bigger deal.

        I know of many NASCAR fans who also follow F1, or who are at least aware of what happens in the sport. If he’s starting in the Nationwide Series, he’ll be lost in the pack- many good drivers there, but all are overshadowed by the handful of Sprint Cup regulars who run the full series schedule.

        I doubt he would ever make to the Sprint Cup on talent- his only way would be to buy a drive. Given that JPM IS 100 times more talented than Piquet, and it took him several years just to be a consistent top-10 finisher in NASCAR, I doubt we will see Piquet pushing Jimmie Johnson anytime soon.

  7. As long as he’s not in F1, I’m happy.

  8. I think there might be some demolition derby tracks still operating in the deep south. If not there is always swamp buggy racing. I doubt he’ll make it into NASCAR proper.

    Feel sorry for an over privilidged little jerk whose rabid amibition and rampant stupidity outstripped both his talent and what little common sense he was born with? Uh, no.

    1. ++++++++ 100

  9. Bit inflammatory this me thinks.

    Yes Nelson cheated and potentially put other drivers / marshalls and possibly even spectators at risk, luckily noone was hurt and maybe that was because he timed it carefully.

    But how many other former F1 drivers/teams have cheated and not got such harsh critisism? I can think of a few.

    Lewis lied to the stewards to alter the outcome of his race on the advice of his manager and people seem to have forgiven him that.

    I guess I feel pity for Nelson because he wasnt honest enough to own up until after the deal with Briatore
    feel through. It doesn’t say much for his character and he’s going to have this following him around forever, but he was a young guy desperate to keep his seat.

    Why not do an article on past F1 drivers accused of serious cheating incidents? that would be interesting.

    Incidentally from what I know of Nascar they all suspect each other would cheat, so the teams are always on the lookout for it and that helps keeps them honest.

    1. There is no more “cheating” in Nascar than any other sport. The teams push the envelope as much as possible. Its up to the inspectors to find them out. The restrictions are so tight in Nascar that if you don’t work in the grey area, you will simply fall to the rear.

    2. Lewis lied to the stewards to alter the outcome of his race on the advice of his manager and people seem to have forgiven him that.

      No-one’s forgotten about it – it’s just not in the same league as this. Piquet crashed deliberately – along with all the safety implications that brings – and then confessed to it out of spite and only when he was sure he’d go unpunished.

      Why not do an article on past F1 drivers accused of serious cheating incidents? that would be interesting.

      Perhaps one day but not on the back of this – I think everyone’s a bit sick of the Crashgate fallout now and with the FIA taking Briatore to court again it’s not over yet.

      This old article might tide you over until then though: Ten of the best… F1 scandals

    3. Definately agree about looking at the context of past acts of cheating, this wasn’t even the first deliberate crash and it was not even the most dangerous. Senna’s attack on Prost in 1990 was far more dangerous than what Piquet did in Singapore, and it was just as blatent an example of premeditated cheating.

  10. We could have employed him here at the MI6.We need people here to crash test Bond’s new prototype cars.

    Ok, on a serious note I feel he will fail miserably & America has always been the land for failed Formula One drivers(Montoya exempted) to showcase their “talent” to the “world”. Ask an average American on the street at times square & he’ll tell you what the word “world” means.

    Good speed to Piquet & his American grail quest.

    1. Ya know, some of your remarks about America- both here and on the forum- are getting a bit tiresome…..

      As for the failed F1 drivers, I don’t exactly think Fittipaldi, Mansell, Andretti, Clark, Hill, etc…fit into that category when they came to race in IndyCars and the Indy 500.

      1. I am sorry. I never meant to bring down the American pride or whatever you call it. Its just that most of the population over there don’t realize the seriousness of Piquet’s actions & are ready to disgrace their favourite pass time by welcoming this guy.

        1. We will see exactly where he lands, but I doubt he will be making headlines anytime soon. Many people referenced Montoya and the several years it took him to get up to speed with NASCAR- Piquet is not even a fraction of the driver that JPM is, so he may be crashing in obscurity for the future.

  11. He might have been following orders but you have to stick to your grounds and reject an order if it is against what your your heart and mind is set for.
    I met him on his last year as test driver for Renault and I saw something in him I didn’t like. I knew he was not ready for the F1 drive when he was given the chance. And I mean psicologically, was not mature enough and that made him do the things they did. I am sorry for him because was a potencially good driver for F1 but it came much too soon for him regardless all the years he spent as test driver.
    Best of luck for him, hope he matured enough after his mistake.

  12. I think that his career was ruined because he wasn’t prepared for F1 and all its pressures. Much like Grosjean. Brazilian drivers that make their way across the pond always say that the main thing that helps them mature and build character is having to go to Europe, learn to live and race away from the families, often with little money to spare. Piquet never had to go through this, thus didn’t learn the value of what it takes to get to F1 for most people.

  13. i fell sorry for him… he crash whitout knows whats he’s doing.

    im wonder if (for example) a mecanic guy from ferrari gets really hurts on Massa’s pit stop misfortune….

    its serious stuff here…
    i cant deny that i like him becouse is piquet’s son.

    but he is really a stupid kid…just see his declarations… thats the reality.

    1. José Baudaier
      12th January 2010, 22:05

      What does one thing has to do with the other?

  14. why even talk about him, hes a cheat! he should stand down from the sport all together!

  15. One of the best headlines ever, love it.

    Dirty dirty Piquet.

  16. Well, if a winner in F1 usually becomes a loser in NASCAR, why can’t the opposite be true?

    1. Highly unlikely……

  17. I dont particularly like either Piquet, but all Jr did was deliberately crash in to a wall, Schu deliberately crashed in to his opponents several times with little punishment.

  18. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th January 2010, 21:58

    Good riddance.

  19. well, im sure he wont get criticized in nascar for such a “petty thing” as the fans will love him for giving them the big crash they want to see every race.

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