Nelson Piquet Jr puts Bristol Behind and Readies for Royal Purple 300

By Kent Whitaker
Nelson Piquet J.
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

Nelson Piquet Jr. is more than ready to put the hard luck of Bristol Motor Speedway behind him as he readies for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Piquet Jr. will pilot his  No. 30 Qualcomm Chevrolet Camaro in this weekend’s Royal Purple 300. The race, and track is a far cry from the high banks of Bristol.

Piquet Jr.was forced to retire his ride early from the Jeff Foxworthy Original Grit Chips race at BMS last Saturday shortly after working his way into the top-15. He was collected in an accident as a wreck slid up the track, leaving him with nowhere to go. The wreck damaged the car beyond repair and relegated the team to a 34th-place finish.

It will be Piquet Jr’s first trip to Auto Club Speedway and he’ll have some different equipment to take advantage of. The team will have chassis TSM-329 this Saturday at ACS. According to the team, this will be the first appearance for this chassis during the 2013 season. The driver says that the team is working hard to do well for their sponsor and for the team so that any memories of Bristol will be a thing of the past.

“Everyone has put last week behind us, I’m looking forward to getting back into the car this week,” Piquet Jr. said. “I’ve only seen tape of the races from Auto Club but it looks like it’s a nice track with lots of room to race. I’m looking forward to giving Qualcomm and my team a solid run this week and build some momentum heading into the off-weekend.”

Piquet Jr. will be racing alongside of his Turner Scott Motorsports teammates.  Justin Allgaier will be behind the wheel of the No. 31 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro. Allgaier is following up his Coors Light Pole Award from last week’s race at BMS. An engine failure ended his day early.

Kyle Larson will be driving the No. 32 Eveready Chevrolet Camaro for TSM. The Elk Grove, California native says that after some time on the road it will be nice to return to his home state. It will be his first start at ACS.

“I’ve done a lot of traveling over the past couple years, so it will be nice to come back to California and Auto Club Speedway,” Larson said. “Though Fontana is pretty far from my hometown, it’s always nice to come home and race in your home state.”

Whitaker is a member of NASCAR media, covers NASCAR and the NFL, author and culinary writer. Follow him @thekentwhitaker on twitter or online.

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