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. Mouse_Nightshirt said on 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.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

  3. carldec said on 13th January 2010, 10:07

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

  4. 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.

  5. Warren said on 13th January 2010, 15:12

    Greatest headline ever!

  6. jraybay-lewismclarenfan said on 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?

  7. usF1fan said on 13th January 2010, 18:57

    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.

  8. Notna said on 13th January 2010, 18:59

    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.

  9. TriumphST said on 14th January 2010, 10:11

    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

  10. 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.

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

  12. The Limit said on 14th January 2010, 22:53

    @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!

  13. massaisdaman said on 15th January 2010, 0:26

    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

  14. Realist said on 2nd February 2010, 17:39

    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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