SAO PAULO -- Former Formula One driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will race in Brazil and in South Africa before heading to the United States to make his NASCAR debut.
Piquet Jr. said on his Web site Tuesday he will compete at the Interlagos 1000 endurance race on Jan. 24. Five days later he will race in the inaugural Free State 500, which will feature NASCAR-type stock cars in South Africa's only banked oval track.
Piquet Jr. said the event will give him "some good experience of oval racing in a NASCAR-type car ahead of my program this year" in the United States.
The 24-year-old Brazilian has not announced which team or series he will compete for in the U.S. Last year he tested with Red Horse Racing in the Truck Series.