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Monday, February 8, 2010
Brazilian Piquet to enter Truck race

Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Former Formula One driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will enter the NASCAR Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Red Horse Racing announced Monday that Piquet will enter the No. 1 Toyota in Friday's race at Daytona.

"We have closely observed Nelson in our testing and believe he has a great future in NASCAR," said Tom DeLoach, managing partner of Red Horse. "He exhibits excellent car control, gives good feedback, but needs the side-by-side experience. He'll get plenty of that in Daytona."

The Brazilian driver has tested several times with Red Horse and made his stock-car debut in Saturday's ARCA race at Daytona. He started seventh, finished 27th, and bumped fenders with Danica Patrick to trigger her spin through the grass that took Patrick out of race-winning contention.

"The size of the Daytona track is amazing," Piquet said. "I can't wait to reach 200 mph side by side in a tight drafting pack of trucks. I can't wait to get out on track and start my NASCAR career."

Piquet triggered an F1 scandal last year when he revealed he deliberately crashed his car to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Piquet was fired by Renault in August, and began exploring opportunities in NASCAR shortly afterward.

Red Horse Racing is still searching for a sponsor for Piquet's entry, and there was no immediate word on any future races with the team.

"Nelson has a huge international following, which hopefully will attract a race partner for the team," DeLoach said.