Nelson Piquet Jnr seeks new crashing opportunities in NASCAR

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

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

  1. Icthyes said on 12th January 2010, 16:31

    Nelson Piquet Jnr seeks new crashing opportunities in NASCAR

    Bwahahaha – excellent!

  2. 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.

    • Nirupam said on 12th January 2010, 17:10

      Nelsinho, is that you? ;)

    • hitchcockm00 (@hitchcockm00) said on 12th January 2010, 17:56

      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.

      • It washed for Hamilton during Liegate.

        • Penelope Pitstop said on 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…

        • hitchcockm00 (@hitchcockm00) said on 12th January 2010, 20:19

          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.

        • Patrickl said on 13th January 2010, 11:54

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

          I’d hardly call that “washed”

      • José Baudaier said on 12th January 2010, 20:22

        Godwin’s Law.

      • 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.

        • jraybay-lewismclarenfan said on 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 .

    • Patrickl said on 13th January 2010, 11:56

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

  3. Formula1OKC said on 12th January 2010, 16:40

    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.

  4. Omegaz3ro said on 12th January 2010, 16:44

    The title is plain brilliant.

  5. Great headline Keith :)

  6. Maksutov said on 12th January 2010, 16:49

    very appropriate title for this article, thanks!

  7. Now we just need rid of Nakajima!

  8. DanThorn said on 12th January 2010, 17:07

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

  9. Nirupam said on 12th January 2010, 17:12

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

  10. Hallard said on 12th January 2010, 17:17

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

  11. 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?

    • Maksutov said on 12th January 2010, 17:38

      “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. :)

      • DanThorn said on 12th January 2010, 17:47

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

        • 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?

          • DanThorn said on 13th January 2010, 11:34

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  12. slicecom said on 12th January 2010, 17:21

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

  13. verasaki said on 12th January 2010, 17:39

    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.

  14. Simone said on 12th January 2010, 17:41

    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.

    • 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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th January 2010, 21:18

      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

    • Ads21 said on 13th January 2010, 15:20

      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.

  15. James Bond said on 12th January 2010, 17:48

    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.

    • 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.

      • James Bond said on 12th January 2010, 18:45

        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.

        • 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.

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