Brazilian Native Piquet Jr Wins at Road America

Photo via Nascar.com

In his first Nationwide Series race of the year, Nelson Piquet Jr took the checkered flag. Piquet Jr has a history of road course racing and he dominated in his first NASCAR road course event. Piquet Jr won the pole and led early. Strategy took place early when Michael Annett and Ricky Stenhouse Jr pitted for fuel on lap one. Then a lap later, Sam Hornish Jr pitted. Hornish Jr was issued a penalty for equipment removed from his pit box following his stop. On lap three, Michael McDowell, driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s No.18 car, took the lead from Piquet Jr.

After the leader pitted on lap five, Ron Fellows inherited the lead. Fellows would be passed for the lead on lap nine when he had a flat left front tire. Brian Scott would then move into the lead. The first caution of the day came out on lap 11 when T.J Bell spun in turn four. Most of the leaders would pit before the restart came. McDowell was the leader coming to the restart. On lap 16, Max Papis would take the lead from McDowell. The second caution of the day came on lap 17 when a piece of debris was found on the front stretch. The No.32 of Miguel Paludo was the leader followed by Danica Patrick.

Then on lap 21, for a brief time, Danica was the leader after she passed Paludo for the lead. Then in turn five, Danica got loose and Paludo slid passed her to re-take the lead. On lap 21, Paludo came down pit road and Jacques Villeneuve took the lead. The halfway point of the race was approaching quickly. The race was only fifty laps due to the four mile course that took over two minutes to maneuver around.

The top five at halfway included; Villeneuve, Piquet Jr, Fellows, Patrick and Whitt. On lap 31, the caution flag flew for the No.75 car of Kenny Habul, who got into the tire barriers in turn five. Shortly after the restart, McDowell got into Villeneuve and spun him around but no caution flew. The next caution came out on lap 33 when T.J Bell got his car stuck in a gravel trap. Justin Allgaier was having a good day until one of his tires locked up and then Allgaier got off course and into the turn five gravel trap on lap 37. Allgaier would go on to finish tenth.

Not even one lap after the restart, Villeneuve got into point’s leader Elliot Sadler, turning Sadler into the wall.  No caution flew and Sadler made a pit stop to repair the damage. On the final lap, a group of cars including Villeneuve and Danica were racing going into turn five and Villeneuve got into Danica and spun her into the gravel trap. That incident took a great finish away from Danica. Villeneuve is a familiar face when you mention trouble at road course races. He has been known to race rough and get into trouble with NASCAR.

While this was going on, Nelson Piquet Jr was taking the checkered flag. Piquet Jr is originally from Brazil and he carried a Brazilian flag around during his celebration. He is the first Brazilian to win a NASCAR race. Piquet Jr said in victory lane after the race that he “just took control. The last lap incident between Villeneuve and Patrick wasn’t forgotten about after the race.

Villeneuve commented in an interview with ESPN that the last lap incident “had nothing to do with me so I really don’t care.” If you watched the race, you could clearly tell that Villeneuve was the main cause of the last lap incident. Villeneuve finished in the sixth position. Danica avoided talking about the last lap incident but she did reflect on her incredible day. She said she felt like everybody raced clean by saying “I felt like everybody kept their noses clean.” Danica finished in the twelfth position.

Once again the race at Road America featured controversy and triumph. Jacques Villeneuve refused to race cleanly and Nelson Piquet Jr won his first race in NASCAR’s top three series. Piquet Jr will now go out and try to win his first Camping World Truck Series race and possibly contend for the championship. Overall, the race at Road America didn’t disappoint. Tomorrow, the Sprint Cup Drivers will race around the road course out in Sonoma, California. The race is set to begin around three eastern and twelve pacific.

Results via Nascar.com

FIN

ST

CAR

DRIVER

MAKE

SPONSOR

PTS/BNS

LAPS

STATUS

1 1 30 Nelson Piquet   Jr. Chevrolet Qualcomm   / Autotrac 0 50 Running
2 2 18 Michael McDowell   Toyota Pizza   Ranch 0 50 Running
3 3 5 Ron Fellows Chevrolet AER   Manufacturing 0 50 Running
4 5 33 Max Papis Chevrolet Menards   / Rheem 0 50 Running
5 8 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Alliance   Truck Parts 40/1 50 Running
6 4 22 Jacques   Villeneuve Dodge Discount   Tire 39/1 50 Running
7 6 11 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar   General 38/1 50 Running
8 22 54 Kurt Busch Toyota Monster   Energy 0 50 Running
9 14 88 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet Voodoo   Ride 35/0 50 Running
10 7 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 34/0 50 Running
11 11 6 Ricky Stenhouse   Jr. Ford Ford   EcoBoost 33/0 50 Running
12 10 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 32/0 50 Running
13 19 44 Mike Bliss Toyota Mark   Smith Racing 31/0 50 Running
14 15 81 Jason Bowles * Toyota American   Majority 30/0 50 Running
15 13 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet Charter 29/0 50 Running
16 20 275 Kenny   Habul Toyota SunEnergy   1 Racing 0 50 Running
17 17 199 Victor Gonzalez   Jr. Toyota Delta   Commercial / IMCA 0 50 Running
18 23 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet AdvoCare 26/0 50 Running
19 28 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet G&K   Services 25/0 50 Running
20 16 38 Brad Sweet * Chevrolet Great   Clips 24/0 50 Running
21 29 14 Eric McClure Toyota Hefty /   Reynolds Wrap 23/0 50 Running
22 25 41 Timmy Hill Ford Poynt.com 0 50 Running
23 33 40 Erik Darnell Chevrolet SheboyganAuto.com 21/0 50 Running
24 37 70 Tony Raines Dodge Country   Inn & Suites 0 50 Running
25 26 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Clements   Automotive 19/0 50 Running
26 12 43 Michael Annett Ford Pilot   Flying J 18/0 48 Running
27 36 23 Bill   Prietzel Chevrolet R3   Motorsports 0 48 Running
28 27 126 John Young Dodge Eklekt   Technologies Group 0 47 Out Of   Fuel
29 9 32 Miguel   Paludo Chevrolet Duroline   Brakes and Components 0 47 Running
30 24 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota G-Oil /   Ryobi 14/0 46 Running
31 32 39 Josh Richards Ford NSW   Kids 13/0 41 Running
32 34 124 Casey Roderick * Chevrolet West   Virginia Miners 12/0 40 Running
33 18 87 Alex Kennedy Toyota Global   Barter / St. Baldricks 0 38 Running
34 42 4 Matthew   Bell Chevrolet Extreme   Bidder 10/0 36 Running
35 21 159 Kyle Kelley Chevrolet Jamison   Eng. / UPR.com 0 29 Engine
36 41 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Schneider   Electric 8/0 26 Handling
37 43 50 T.J. Bell Chevrolet Beaver   Bail Bonds 7/0 24 Rear   End
38 40 108 Matt Frahm Ford Randy   Hill Racing 6/0 14 Brakes
39 35 52 Ryan   Ellis Chevrolet Cobblestone   Inn & Suites 5/0 4 Ignition
40 39 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet TheMotorsportsGroup.com 4/0 4 Brakes
41 31 47 Matt DiBenedetto   Chevrolet Curtis   Key Plumbing 3/0 3 Overheating
42 38 42 Tim Schendel Chevrolet SheboyganAuto.com 2/0 3 Vibration
43 30 10 Jeff Green Toyota TriStar   Motorsports 1/0 2 Vibration

 

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