Nelson Piquet Jr. gets his First Truck Series Win at Michigan
Nelson Piquet Jr. and his team turn a mid-race spin on the back stretch at Michigan International Speedway into an opportunity to get a win. Joey Coulter led the field when the green flag waved but quickly lost the lead as the first five trucks used drafting to swap the led back and forth. The race continued that way until about half way with Kurt Busch leading the most laps of 57. On lap 57, Kurt Busch and Nelson Piquet Jr. got too close coming off of turn 2. Kurt took the air off of Nelson’s spoiler and he spun around on the back stretch. He made a great save but needed to change tires with 43 laps left to go.
Chris Carrier, crew chief for the No. 30 Autotrac Chevrolet said, “We obviously had to come and get tires because they were flat spotted and you know kind of all our decisions at that point were made for us. It was really kind of a no brainer to come and pit under caution, regroup and fill it full of gas”. The engineer Andrew Overstreet had figured out if they were running green flag laps and drafting they could go 40 laps. They had planned to pit and put two gallons of fuel in, but near the end of the race they saw several other teams were doing the same strategy and decided to stay out and save fuel. Chris Carrier said, “Nelson is very good naturally at saving fuel.”
When the green flag pit stops were over, Nelson had almost a 15 second lead and was asked to slow down to save fuel. Since the other trucks behind him were doing the same thing he still won the race by about 15 seconds.
In the last truck race at Pocono Nelson had a great run but was not able to get the win. Nelson said, “Michigan International Raceway was one of the first tracks I drove on when I first started in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. My last race in Pocono was heartbreaking for me; I really thought it was going to be my first victory in the No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado.” His team brought that same truck back to Michigan.
This is the first win for Nelson Piquet Jr. in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 42 races. Nelson is the fifth first-time winner in the series this year. Nelson is currently eighth in points, 57 points behind series leader Timothy Peters.
Jason White was second, Dakota Armstrong was third, Parker Klingerman fourth and James Buescher fifth. Ty Dillon finished sixth and was the highest finishing rookie.
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