Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nelson Piquet Jr. wins NCWTS - Smith's 350 in Las Vegas

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR
In a race where it is common to need to be in the top five or so to win, Saturday night proved otherwise. During the last lap at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nelson Piquet Jr. edged past second-place finisher Matt Crafton to win the race. Rounding out the top five were: the day's pole sitter Joey Coulter, Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan and Todd Bodine.

Piquet's lucky number was 13 today as that was his starting position. He quietly crept through the pack (along with several big run offs and a collision or two) to take on Crafton. "We really needed this win. Its probably the best one of my career,replied Piquet when asked about the victory.

Todd Bodine lost control on Lap 1 and took the first slide off the track. Somehow everyone around him was spared. Timothy Peters picked up the race lead. Lap 6 saw Travis Pastrana in his first Truck start get loose and make his own pirouette on the concrete. He headed to the pits for four new tires, eventually finishing 15th.

Other calamities ensued: Lap 28 saw Chris Lafferty hit the apron and slide up the width of the track only to slide back down again - trailing oil on the way down. Turn Four was not friendly. As the sun went down in Las Vegas and the track lights came up, Lap 95 found Piquet in second place with 45 laps to go, while Brennan Newberry made his own trip up and down the track a la Lafferty but he kept managing to run despite damage.

The biggest traffic snarl of the day came with 39 laps to go when Miguel Paludo got a wiggle loose and tapped Justin Lofton enough to made Lofton dive for the apron, taking out Johnny Sauter along with him. Paludo then passed by them to finish 11th. When asked about the incident, Sauter candidly replied, "We have people here that, quite frankly, shouldn't be racing and that's how I feel."

For complete results of the NCWTS- Smith's 350 click here.

Rookie Ty Dillon hangs onto the championship lead by a single point over James Buescher and by 24 over Timothy Peters. Complete points standings here


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