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’m happy for him. He is young man living under the shadow of his farther who out of desperation made a mistake. I understand this, but do not excuse it. He should have received some kind of official punishment, but as we all know this did not happen – for reasons beyond his control. He is tarnished forever, so in effect he is still being punished. Just look at the headline of this article and some of the comments for example.
    I hope he learns from all this, keeps his head down and mouth shut, and makes the most of any second chances that are afforded to him as life does not always give them. On a side not, NASCAR is harder than most people give it credit for. If it was sooo easy, JPM would have waltzed in straight away and won. He didn’t. Very good drivers like Francitti and Hornish Junior have struggled to adjust. It, like any other motosport series has nuances that must be understood and maximized if you want to achieve at the best. I am unconvinced he has the mental fortitude to make it, but this crash-gate nonsense could actually be the making of the man. Stranger things have happened. only time will tell for sure

  2. I’m pretty over the crash thing. The main point for me is that he wasn’t at all fast in F1 so I don’t care what he does. Good riddance

  3. It just goes to show the low morality of certain people doesn’t it? I know some on this site have compared the events of Singapore 2008 with those concerning drivers such as Schumacher and Senna, but it is important to remember this. In motorsports history, not just in F1, you would be hard pushed to find a driver commit such a professional foul as Piquet Jnr did!
    When I was a kid, I remember Senna taking out Prost to win the championship. The media massacred Aryton, but I understood why he did it, how he could do it. The same with Schumacher in 1994 and 1997, both in the heat of battle and with so much at stake. The purists will argue that Piquet Jnr did the same, but he did it for an altogether different reason. He did it to help his team, his team mate, and his faltering career. He crashed his car, at high speed, risking other people’s lives in order to further his career.
    Now, nearly a year on from this, he really sets himself as a precedent. When he realises that Flavio Briatore is going to drop him from Renault, he blackmails his former boss. For nearly a year, he had kept his crime a secret but only when his career was in jeapordy did he open his mouth. The rest is history!
    When Senna, strangely enough, admitted to the world in 1991 that his accident with Prost had been on purpose, it was hardly a surprise. Infact, it was a surprise that Senna even admitted it. When Schumacher parked his Ferrari at Rascasse during the 2006 Monaco Gp qualifying, it was obvious why he had done it. All the above mentioned acts are cheating, pure and simple.
    With Piquet Jnr however, he decided that he would use it to blackmail his team and muddy his image further.
    NASCAR prouds itself on the controversial. The fans enjoy the after race punchups between drivers almost asmuch as the crashes themselves. It is pure, primetime American soap opera but infront of a 200,000 live audience, plus the many millions watching on tv.
    On that not, Piquet Jnr will be quite at home. However, if he thinks he can pull the same tricks there that he did in F1 he is seriously mistaken. His surname means nothing to the American racing public, he is not exactly the first punk kid with a big mouth to drive a stock car. So, in a year or two, I bet he’ll look back on 2008 and 2009 and regret just how badly his ego and mouth buried his career. He’ll miss F1, far far more than F1 will ever miss him.

    1. “On that not, Piquet Jnr will be quite at home. However, if he thinks he can pull the same tricks there that he did in F1 he is seriously mistaken. His surname means nothing to the American racing public, he is not exactly the first punk kid with a big mouth to drive a stock car. So, in a year or two, I bet he’ll look back on 2008 and 2009 and regret just how badly his ego and mouth buried his career. He’ll miss F1, far far more than F1 will ever miss him.”

      I agree with that!

  4. I think he shouldn´t be allowed to race ANYWHERE! But at least I´m so so so sooo happy he is not in F1! I really hope no team forgets what he did, but apparently there were some of the new ones that were not that concerned…

  5. I am not so sure if I am sorry, but I would like to see him racing another F1 season and show us what he claimed he could of achieved. (somehow I was persuaded that he could of done better if he was treated fairly within the team) He confessed his crime and I am sure that many others have done so in the pass but did not have the courage to step up and point out the wrong doings. Now, I am not supporting Piquet, rather I am feeling sorry for his father. I would always like to see a son can continue the good works of his father.

    It is always sad to see F1 drivers downgrade themself and gone to NASCAR which can only go around the circle.

  6. Mouse_Nightshirt
    13th January 2010, 8:06

    I think we’ve lost some of the facts here.

    The reason the FIA came down hard is that another person from Renault came forward and said that it all happened and they had wanted his input – he refused to.

    He quite explicitly backed up Pat Symonds version though – it was Piquet’s suggestion to crash, not Flav’s.

    Piquet is a piece of dirt in my eyes. I wouldn’t put it past him at all to have done something like this, as desperation was quite apparent by Singapore 2008.

    1. Indeed. Piquet’s and Mosley’s propaganda seems to have paid off though.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys
    13th January 2010, 9:08

    I love the way Piquet words things on his website – that he’s turning his back on a Formula 1 career. The serious implication is that he’s the one who has made the decision to leave the sport, and that it’s Formula 1 that has done him wrong. Not the other way around.

    Good luck in NASCAR, Nelson. They’re going to eat you alive.

  8. stupid people driving stupid cars in circles in a fake regional racing series that requires almost no driving talent? Sounds perfect for Piquet.

  9. I’m really dismayed by some of the elitist snobbery I’ve seen in many of the comments here.

    Obviously many commenters know nothing of NASCAR. There is not a punchup after every race, and many races finish without crashes or yellow flags.

    I fail to see that moving from Formula 1 to NASCAR-or any other racing series-is “downgrading”.

    NASCAR may only turn left, but they do it at over 200mph while passing another car. Can’t remember the last time I saw that in F1.

    A NASCAR fan might comment that F1 can’t even make up their minds which way to turn, much less pass someone. Might also comment that with the lack of passing that F1 is more like a parade than a race.

    Oh, I’m still an F1 fan, always have been, always will be. But these days I’m just less tolerant of elitism and snobbery, both of which F1 has too much of.

    Perhaps instead of folks commenting on something of which they know nothing, it would be bestter for them to not comment at all.

    Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  10. Greatest headline ever!

  11. jraybay-lewismclarenfan
    13th January 2010, 16:49

    I love piquet sr and I wish nelson could continue in formula 1 and keep the piquet name strong. Unfortunately now he is in nascar where he will go nowhere. theres only like 3 or 4 good teams in there competing. the rest are just advertisements in motion. Penske, hendrick, roush, and gibbs… maybe stewart/ haas too. who is piquet racing for?

  12. In a racing series where you often hear “if you’re not cheating you’re not trying,” Nelson “Don’t call me junior” Piquet will fit in perfectly. The whole Singapore crash proved that he has not integrity.

  13. Do you not think it will be intriguing in his new role, every single blunder he makes in NASCAR (lets face it, in a season there are bound to be several) there will always be a hint of “Oooh, did he do that on purpose?”

    In the same way a bearded lady is a boon to a travelling circus, I think Piquet Jnr adds to the the circus that is F1.

  14. I’m a little perplexed as to what exactly young Piquet has stood accused of to be pilloried by so many on this forum and especially by those long term F1 fans who one supposes know F1 intimately and know better.

    Yes he crashes into a wall, safely demonstrating great driving skill in the process and achieving his objective by neither endangering himself or anyone else on the circuit.

    But what was he really guilty of, certainly not cheating if only because cheating is part of F1’s DNA. In fact in the early days of motor-sport it was condoned if only because it was endemic (as it still is), latterly (once F1 was awash with cash) it became more litigious in an effort to give teams further advantage but they still retained their commitment to achieve any advantage through means fair or foul. Few that profess to know anything about F1 would dispute that ‘cheating’ providing one doesn’t get caught is at the foundation of F1.

    In essence anyone looking to a ‘clean year’ in F1 would be expecting a ‘first’ and abjectly fail to understand that ethics in F1 are of a completely different order to everyday life or sport (which F1 certainly is not) in general.

    Getting caught? no, that wasn’t the case either as NP (who I know from people who frequently met him at Renault describe him as one of the most affable charming and straight forward people you could wish to meet) actually raised the issue.

    NP was guilty of naivety, common amongst the inexperienced, but let no-one assume that the boy hasn’t the ability given the right machinery and support to emulate some of the winners in F1.

    Piquet’s airing of F1’s dirty linen in public was an anathema to teams fearful of being exposed as cheats with all that entails by disgruntled employees now treat young Piquet as a pariah as an example to others, therein lies the rub by being guided by dad and doing the right thing instead of keeping his mouth young Piquet sealed his fate in F1.

    Should he be castigated to this extent when all he wanted was to secure a future but was let down by a team who should have known better, certainly not, in the real world (not the F1 world) that’s still grossly unfair

  15. Apart from when he didn’t crash , which was more often than not , he was driving fine , maybe in a top car he could have done the business . Lacked consistency. Driving in some other series , like Nascar , can only benefit him if just from a maturity point of view , then if he gets a chance back in F1 later and in a good car , we could see the Piquet name shine yet again.

  16. Wow! I’m surprised at the headline to this piece. Good luck to Nelson and I wish him all the best…

  17. @dsob.

    My comments are not snobbery at all, all I am pointing out is that Piquet Jnr is seriously mistaken if he thinks going to NASCAR is going to be an easy alternative. As for the ‘punchup’ comment, you only have to look at some of the track records of some NASCAR drivers. Tony Stewart for example, is well known for throwing a nice left hook when he feels like it, on more than one occasion. A recent survey in America which asked the majority of NASCAR fans why they fell in love with the sport was very interesting. The 1979 Daytona 500 won hands down, in which the resulting last lap crash involving the lead drivers led to one of the biggest fights in stock car history. Certainly the most infamous, which went along way to increasing the sports popularity among American race fans.
    If you saw the Miami Homestead race a few months ago, inwhich Tony Stewart and Juan Montoya went at each other for lap after lap, can you tell me when that has happened at anytime in recent F1 history. The answer is no! That is not snobbery, that is fact!
    F1 is far more restrictive on what it allows its drivers to do on the racetrack, that can be looked as a positive or a negative. For a start, if the Stewart/Montoya slug fest had been conducted in F1 cars, without question someone would be atleast visiting the hospital. The two sports a very different, but NASCAR is a far more raw and relaxed enviroment.
    I remember Montoya back in 2002 just tapping Schumacher’s front wing, and he recieved a drive through penalty. That would be an everyday occurance in stock cars, run of the mill. So, in a nutshell, the boy Nelson has alot to learn. The name Piquet, which used to mean something in F1, will mean nothing in Alabama or North Carolina. As Juan Montoya learnt fast, respect has to been earnt and it is never easy, no matter what series you compete in!

  18. where i come from SNITCHES GET STITCHES piquetjr is just a RAT nothing more nothing less he will fit into nascar well i can whine an cry with the best of them

  19. Funny to see so many people take a moral high ground. I don’t think you can blame a driver for doing what his superior told him to do. If this is cheating, then every single pit-ordered overtaking in F1 history is cheating too.

    The only thing I’d rebuke him for is grinding mud all over his father’s name and achievements as the best F1 driver to come out of Brazil.

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