Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fast Facts: Nelson Piquet Jr.

Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR/Jared C. Tilton
Nelson Piquet Jr., who won earlier this season in the Nationwide Series, finally picked up his first Camping World Truck Series win on August 18 at Michigan International Speedway. The driver of the No. 30 Qualcomm Chevrolet Silverado has racing in blood – his father is a three-time Formula One champion. Here’s a look at this rising Brazilian racing star.
  • Nelson Angelo Tamsma Piquet Souto Maior was born July 25, 1985 in Heidelberg, West Germany. The son of Nelson Piquet and Sylvia Tamsma, Piquet lived in Monaco with his mother until he was 8, then moved to Brazil with his father. Piquet Jr. has two sisters and four brothers.
  • Piquet Jr. began karting in 1993, remaining there for eight years until moving into Formula Three Sudamericana in 2001. In 2002, he won the series championship with four races remaining in the season. In 2003 and 2004, he moved to the United Kingdom to race in the British Formula Three Championship, taking the title in 2004.
  • In 2005, Piquet Jr. raced in the A1 Grand Prix and the GP2 Series, as well as testing for the Bar-Honda Formula One team. In 2006, his second year in GP2, he placed second in the championship to 2008 F1 champ Lewis Hamilton.
  • Piquet Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps in 2007, becoming the reserve and test driver for the Renault F1 team; in 2008, he was promoted to teammate of two-time F1 champ Fernando Alonso. Piquet Jr. remained with Renault until August 2009, when he was let go by Renault; allegations made following his release – that he was asked to deliberately crash in a race to benefit Alonso in 2008 – led to an F1 investigation.
  • In 2010, following the resolution of the F1 scandal, Piquet Jr. began his American racing career in both the ARCA Racing Series and the Camping World Truck Series. In 2011, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the Truck Series, Piquet Jr. finished 10th in points and was runner-up to Joey Coulter for the Rookie of the Year title.
  • In 2012, Piquet Jr. signed with Turner Motorsports following the sale of KHI. Piquet Jr. earned his first NASCAR-sanctioned win in the K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. Competing full-time in the Truck Series and part-time in the Nationwide Series, Piquet Jr. has wins in the Nationwide Series (Road America) and Truck Series (Michigan) this season; he became the first Brazilian driver to win a NASCAR national-touring series event.
  • Find out more about Nelson Piquet Jr. at www.npiquet.com.  


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