James Buescher did it in Dayonta, an now Nelson Piquet Jr. has done it at Road America. Just what did they do? They climbed into the No. 30 Nationwide Series car for Turner Motorsports, the team they both just happen to drive for full-time in the Camping World Truck Series, and drove the car to their first-career NASCAR national series wins.
Piquet, in only his third Nationwide attempt, claimed the pole and then the race win at the Wisconsin road course.
“I knew I could do it,” Piquet said in victory lane. “It was just a matter of being with the right team at the right time.”
And, apparently, Trent Owens is the right crew chief with whom to get a Road America win. It was the second-straight Nationwide win at the track for Owens, who guided Reed Sorenson, then driver of the No. 32 Turner entry, to Road America’s victory lane in 2011.
After pitting for the final time on lap 31 of the 50-lap race, Piquet took the lead for good during a caution on lap 34 and drove out to a lead of more than three seconds by the end of the race.
“Struggled a little in the beginning,” Piquet said. “But once I got in clean air, it took off.”
As Piquet drove away from the field, the battle for other top-five positions got physical, especially in the closing laps. On the final lap of the race, Jacques Villeneuve made contact with the rear of Danica Patrick’s No. 7 car, sending Patrck spinning.
After the race, Villeneuve said that Max Papis running him into the grass caused his inability to avoid hitting Patrick. After fighting for position within the top-five, Villeneuve finished sixth and Patrick 12th.
“You all can make a decision for yourself what happened there,” a disappointed Patrick said after the race.
Michaeal McDowell finished second, Ron Fellows was third, Papis fourth and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top-five.
Brian Scott was the highest-finishing Nationwide Series regular, finishing seventh.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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