Piquet makes last-lap pass to win in Vegas

Nelson Piquet Jr. lost the lead to Joey Coulter, and the top spot was soon thereafter taken away by Matt Crafton with 15 laps to go in the Smith’s 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Crafton remained up front and was in the lead to see the white flag wave for the final lap, but Piquet wasn’t done. He got by Crafton to reassume the lead on the last lap and take the race win, his second series victory of the season and the seventh for Turner Motorsports.

“We really needed this win,” Piquet said in victory lane. “Probably the best win of my career.”

As fans watched Piquet celebrate his “best win,” Crafton was forced to settle for second.

“That was a tough one to lose on the last lap,” Crafton said.

After the race, Piquet didn’t seem to have an answer for how he made his final pass for the win.

“I have no idea what happened,” he said. “Someone up there gave me some grip when I needed it.”

Race pole sitter Joey Coulter finished third, Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan was fourth and Todd Bodine, who spun to bring out the first caution of the race on lap one, rounded out the top-five.

The yellow flag waved early and waved often throughout the event. Including a caution on lap one, there were eight yellow flags throughout the 146-lap event. The early stages of the race were caution-filled, as the yellow flag was utilized three times in the first 13 laps.

After the action settled down somewhat, Parker Kligerman took the lead by taking fuel only on a pit stop during a lap 30 caution. After not getting his truck completely full of fuel, though, he gave up the lead to head down pit road under green on lap 73, turning the top spot over to Piquet.

Piquet then lost the lead during the next caution that came out on lap 76 when the Richard Childress Racing duo of Coulter and Ty Dillon beat him off pit road. He got back up front, though, on the next restart that followed a caution that came out with 45 laps to go.

Piquet continued to lead the way until losing the lead to Coulter with 15 to go. He kept the lead in sight, and not long after then-leader Crafton took the white flag, Piquet made his move to get back into the top spot at the end.

– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

– Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook

– Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

Tags: Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway Matt Crafton NASCAR Nelson Piquet Jr

comments powered by Disqus