A funny thing happened to Nelson Piquet Jr. While the Brazilian was looking for his first NASCAR Truck victory he stole the show at the Nationwide Series race at Road America.
In only his third Nationwide race Piquet, driving a Turner Motorsports Chevy, won the pole and led the last 18 laps of the 50-lap race with a 2.258-second victory over Michael McDowell in the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
"It is difficult to say the right words. I knew I could do it. It was just a matter of being with the right team, the right people and the right organization. It is great to win in the Nationwide Series," said the son of the Formula One champion.
"I opened a little gap on the last three restarts and the car was great."
Canada’s Ron Fellows was third in a Chevy, and a little frustrated: not bad, it’s decent," he said of his race.
"Based on what I saw Piquet turned a kind of a cat and mouse game with McDowell trying to save tires and fuel. This (his race) is still good fun keeps us young."
Another Canadian may have lost some NASCAR friends as a result of a last-lap incident. Jacques Villeneuve, driving for Penske Racing was battling with fourth place finisher Max Papis. They bumped.
When Villeneuve recovered he was directly behind Danica Patrick who had taken fourth (and led earlier) and was running in the top-five most of the day. As they entered the tricky turn five Villeneuve’s car punted Patrick’s off the track.
He ended up sixth.
"We were racing hard, and I wasn't even fighting with Danica, I was fighting with Max Papis," Villeneuve said in a radio interview. ''And just before the braking (zone), I guess he was wanting to cross over and go to the inside of Danica.
"And he probably didn't know I was there so he pushed me into the grass, and you don't slow down that much in the grass. So by the time I was on the racetrack again, I was going a little bit slower than Danica. That's all.''
Rather than expressing anger Ms. Patrick was very composed in her interview after the race where she ended up 12th.
"I ran the top five all day," she said. "That’s the bummer I didn’t get to finish the day. It would have been good to get a good result." Regarding the incident with Villeneuve she said "You all can make the decision about what you saw."
Elliott Sadler (15th) continues to lead the points, by 11, over Austin Dillon who finished 18th. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., third in the standings, finished 11th.