Nelson Piquet Jr. at Bristol in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut. (Getty Images for NASCAR)
Former Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet claimed his maiden NASCAR victory Saturday at Bristol in the K&N East series support race to the Sprint Cup/Nationwide Series weekend. The Brazilian, who has been competing in NASCAR since 2010 and runs his second full-time campaign in the Camping World Truck Series this year, held of Ryan Blaney to win.
Driving for series' top contender X Team Racing, Piquet topped the final practice session and then claimed pole position in what was his first outing in the regional championship, which runs both in the West and East Coasts, with cars similar in specification to the previous generation of Nationwide Series machines.
Piquet was a contender through the 127 laps, which saw a green-white-checkered finish where he pulled clear of Blaney – son of Sprint Cup regular Dave – beating him by nearly half a second in the final one-mile sprint.
"I really liked this track before, I love it even more now," said Piquet.
The 26-year-old had previously raced at Bristol last year, qualifying on the front row and finishing eighth in the Truck Series.
Besides his Truck series campaign with Turner Motorsports, Piquet will run a number of Nationwide Series events this year for the same squad, as he continues to try to make his way up the NASCAR ladder.