Nelson Piquet Jr. is set to make his American stock car racing debut in the ARCA season opener at Daytona next month. The former Renault Formula 1 driver, who announced last week he would be switching to NASCAR, will drive the No. 6 Toyota Camry in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for series champion Eddie Sharp Racing at Daytona on Feb. 6.
The Brazilian will join IndyCar star Danica Patrick in what is expected to be one of the most high-profile ARCA events ever. Multiple Motocross champion turned stock car racer Ricky Carmichael and IndyCar's Milka Duno are among other notable names entering the race.
Piquet plans to make his debut in NASCAR-sanctioned racing a week later in the Camping World Truck Series round at the same track, where he is expected to drive the No. 1 Toyota Tundra for Red Horse Racing. His full plans for the rest of the season still have to be finalized, but he expects to continue to race in different series throughout the year.
"It's the first year. It's a lot of learning for me. I'm going to be doing races here, races there – as many races as I can just to get used to these kinds of cars and the tracks," said Piquet. "If it starts going well, then I'll maybe do even more races or maybe do higher levels, like maybe even Nationwide. It is all going to depend on how quick I learn everything and how well I get involved with the team."
Before competing at Daytona, Piquet will have a hectic racing schedule, which includes the Interlagos 1000km endurance race in his native Brazil next weekend, followed by the Free State 500 stock car race at the Phakisa Freeway in South Africa a week later.