Nelson Piquet Jr.
No. 8 Qualcomm / Autotrac Chevrolet Silverado
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race 5 of 25 – Nashville Superspeedway
CIDADE DA MÚSICA (MUSIC CITY): Nelson Piquet Jr. will head to Music City this weekend for his first experience at the 1.333-mile Nashville Superspeedway. For the fourth-consecutive race this season, Piquet Jr. will encounter a track in which he has not raced at before. The D-shaped track will also provide Piquet Jr. his first opportunity to compete on a concrete surface. The Bully Hill Vineyards 200 will take place on Good Friday and will present the race winner with a specially designed Gibson Les Paul guitar.
INTERMEDIATE CONSISTENCY: Nashville Superspeedway is the first intermediate track on the 2011 Truck Series Schedule, but Piquet Jr. is not new to the one-to-two-mile track. In his five Truck Series starts last season, Piquet Jr. competed at three intermediate tracks, including Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He finished 16th, eighth and 20th, respectively.
OFF WEEKEND, ON TRACK: Even with a break in the Truck Series schedule, Piquet Jr. did not take a break from racing. On April 9-10, Piquet Jr. participated in the Pan American Rotax Series East Division at Homestead Karting in Homestead, Fla. The Brazilian driver competed in the first championship weekend with the Tony Kart team in the Max division. Piquet Jr. used his past experience in karting to bring home two podium finishes in the two rounds, third and second.
HIP-HIP HOORAY: The Truck Series could not succeed without the continued support from the broadcast channel SPEED. This weekend SPEED will celebrate the 200th truck race broadcast. Since being involved in the Truck Series starting in 2001, KHI attributes much success based on the continual coverage and support from the SPEED organization. Thank you, SPEED for all of your hard work and helping make the Truck Series.
HOMECOMING: Todd Perryman, mechanic and front tire changer on the No. 8, will make a trip down memory lane this weekend in his hometown of Nashville. “It is definitely nice to be home during the Nashville Superspeedway race,” said Perryman.”I grew up going to late model races at the old Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville, right down the road from Nashville Superspeedway. It’s a great feeling to be back.”
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 8 team will utilize chassis No. 51 this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Although the No. 8 has not run the chassis this season, No. 51 has seen its fair-share of success already. Teammate Ron Hornaday contended for the win with the truck at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway this season, piloting the No. 2 Sherwin-Williams Chevrolet to a third-place finish. Hornaday continued his success with the No. 51 chassis at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway with a second-place finish.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Piquet Jr. made his first start at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in the Truck Series event. Competing at the shortest track on the circuit, Piquet Jr. scored his second consecutive top-10 qualifying position at the .526-mile oval. When the green flag dropped, bad luck found the No. 8, and the truck got caught up in an early-race incident, receiving major damage. The No. 8 team worked hard to repair the Qualcomm/Autotrac Chevrolet Silverado, and Piquet Jr. brought the No. 8 to a hard-fought 30th-place finish.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Nelson Piquet Jr.
How do you feel going into the race at Nashville Superspeedway?
“Once again we’re heading to a track I’ve never been to, so it’s very important that I get up to speed quickly in practice. Last season I did quite well on the intermediate tracks where I raced, so I think we’re capable of having a very good weekend in Nashville. We’ve been qualifying well the last few races and we’ve been able to run up front, we’ve just encountered some bad luck which resulted in poor finishes. The goal in Nashville is to put together a good weekend from start to finish: Good practice times, a good starting position and a good finish.”
THOUGHTS FROM THE PIT BOX: Chris Carrier
What are the major characteristics of Nashville Superspeedway?
“I think that Nashville Superspeedway is a deceiving track. It is one of only three all-concrete tracks on the circuit, but I think that the biggest issue drivers have is the narrow groove. Drivers get in trouble, especially in turns three and four, where they become too aggressive and clip the apron. As more rubber is put down throughout the day, the track will widen. The tire-wear will be a factor during practice for the simple reason that there have not been many cars or trucks on the surface for a while. As the day progresses, tire wear will become less of an issue.”
What are the keys to success at Nashville?
“We are really going to focus on restarts this weekend. We’ve looked at the past few races and see restarts as a weakness of ours. The first five or six laps are ultimately the most important laps in the race because almost ninety percent of all passes happen in those few laps after the green flag drops again. We do have to qualify on time this weekend, but I have confidence in Nelson, in our equipment, our team and our setup for Nashville Superspeedway.”
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