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NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Saturday, August 23, 2012 on SPEED-TV

 

Nelson Piquet Jr. wins 2012 VFW 200 race at MIS

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Nelson Piquet Jr. celebrates his VFW 200 win with his team in victory lane.

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

|

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Nelson Piquet Jr. won the 13th Annual VFW 200, his first victory in 42 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races. Piquet is the fifth first-time winner of the 2012 season. He is the first Brazilian driver to win in NCWTS. Piquet is also the second driver born outside of the United States to win a truck series race. The first was a Canadian named Ron Fellows who won two NCWTS wins.

Piquet is the son of a three-time Formula One champion. He says he is working his way up to NASCAR. This is his second top-10 finish in three races at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).

At the press conference, Nelson revealed it took a long time for this win. "We were fighting for this win for a long time. I am happy the whole team stayed behind me. The whole team did a great job and I hope I can build a relationship and continue on." As he cruised into the finish line, he said he was going half-throttle already. "They told me to back off more. That's why I was worried. I didn't know who second place was."

The pre-race festivities began at noon with the introduction of the drivers. At about 12:40 p.m., the VFW National Home for Children sang the national anthem. Then, it was "Gentlemen start your engines."

The first caution flag went up on Lap 14, the second on Lap 39. During Lap 46, No. 09 John Wes Townley made contact with car No. 11 Todd Bodine's Toyota on turn three. The third caution was during lap 51 and the fourth caution was during Lap 53. The fifth caution during Lap 56 when No. 30 Nelson Piquet Jr. was inside Kurt Busch's Toyota and made contact with it and spun out on the track. Kurt Busch was making his first NCWTS start since 2001. During Lap 68, car No. 2 Tim George Jr. had some trouble too.

The checkered flag went down and then Nelson Piquet Jr. was declared the winner. Piquet also revealed that on Lap 56, when he spun out, "You don't have any control, you just start spinning, thank goodness everyone went around me. I'm glad I didn't get t-boned. If you hit the sidewall and spin, all you can do is hit the pits and change tires."

What does it mean to be with great drivers? Chris Carrier, his crew chief said, "It's a pretty cool feeling." I love the stories Nelson shares about his racing career and I feel the deep respect he has for this father. I can see that Nelson has high expectations. He has proven that to me. I can rest assured that his dad is very proud of him. There is a feeling of gratification and to be a part of it is very satisfying to me. I have the best crew and best team in all of auto racing plus he's (Piquet) fun to be around."

In Lap 53, during your spin, how did it affect your calculations? Carrier replied, "In situations like that, you just have to press reset. Fortunately there wasn't any damage. The caution went up and we had to re-group, so we went to the pits and added two gallons of gas and replaced tires. We had to roll the dice and we changed our mind three times during one lap. Nelson is good at saving fuel and has very good throttle control, good car control."

Jason White finished second and posted his third top-10 finish in six races at Michigan International Speedway. Dakoda Armstrong finished third and posted his first top-10 finish in two races at MIS. It was his career-best finish.

To close out the press conference, Nelson spoke in Portuguese on what it meant to win this race.

After the race, four bands performed on stage near the water tower. Hundreds of people enjoyed the music of The Ghosts of August, Ionia, Fuel and The Romantics.

Related Stories: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 Race Results; VFW 200 Starting Grid

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Piquet does a donut in front of the center grandstands.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Seconds later, he was given the Brazilian flag and the checkered flag for a victory lap.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

He burned lots of rubber!

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Getting out of his racing truck

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Piquet walking toward Gatorade Victory Lane

 

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