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DATE News (chronologically)
06/24/12
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Piquet Jr. wins Road America Nationwide race  Nelson Piquet Jr. enjoyed a lot of firsts during the Sargento 200 race weekend at Road America.

A regular in the Camping World Truck Series, Piquet used his first career pole and laps led to earn his first NASCAR national-series win on the Wisconsin road course. In his third career Nationwide Series start, he drove a flawless final 17 laps with the lead, earning a 2.258-second victory over runner-up Michael McDowell. Piquet led a race-high 19 laps to become the first Brazilian to win a NASCAR national-series race.

"It's difficult to put into words what I'm feeling," Piquet Jr. said. "I think we had a great week since the first practice. I learned the track quite quickly and the team helped me out quite a bit."

Piquet didn't fight too hard for the lead until after the halfway mark, but that was a strategic move in order to save fuel in case there was a green-white-checkered finish like last year where the 4.048-mile course caused mayhem on pit crews trying to have enough fuel to finish the race.

"I could have fought harder in the middle of the race but there was no reason why," Piquet said. "I wasn't going to accomplish anything. I just held back a little bit and when it was the right moment I attacked. It was on one of the restarts where I passed Jacques [Villeneuve] and moved quick through the field and led the race at the end."

McDowell and Ron Fellows finished where they started, at second and third respectively. Max Papis and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top five.

"We had a really good car," McDowell said. "The problem was I used up my car a little too much to get into second and then on that final restart I tried to be a little smart and anticipate Nelson trying to go a little early and tuck in behind him but Danica [Patrick] was right there. I kind of knew if I gave up a little bit to be at the bottom it would be worth it, but I just never got to the bottom. I tried to run down Nelson but his car was fast. I don't know if we would have had anything for him if we would have stayed with him on that restart. I think he was saving a little bit on fuel, because when he needed to go it seemed like he could."

Road America had a tamer finish than last year, which had three green-white-checkered finishes. Things did get a little interesting when one of the big names from last year, Villeneuve, made contact with Patrick in Turn 5 on the final lap, which spun Patrick.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR LAPS STATUS
1 1 30 Nelson Piquet Jr. Chevrolet Qualcomm / Autotrac 50 Running
2 2 18 Michael McDowell Toyota Pizza Ranch 50 Running
3 3 5 Ron Fellows Chevrolet AER Manufacturing 50 Running
4 5 33 Max Papis Chevrolet Menards / Rheem 50 Running
5 8 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Alliance Truck Parts 50 Running
6 4 22 Jacques Villeneuve Dodge Discount Tire 50 Running
7 6 11 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar General 50 Running
8 22 54 Kurt Busch Toyota Monster Energy 50 Running
9 14 88 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet Voodoo Ride 50 Running
10 7 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 50 Running
11 11 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford EcoBoost 50 Running
12 10 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 50 Running
13 19 44 Mike Bliss Toyota Mark Smith Racing 50 Running
14 15 81 Jason Bowles * Toyota American Majority 50 Running
15 13 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet Charter 50 Running
16 20 275 Kenny Habul Toyota SunEnergy 1 Racing 50 Running
17 17 199 Victor Gonzalez Jr. Toyota Delta Commercial / IMCA 50 Running
18 23 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet AdvoCare 50 Running
19 28 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet G&K Services 50 Running
20 16 38 Brad Sweet * Chevrolet Great Clips 50 Running
21 29 14 Eric McClure Toyota Hefty / Reynolds Wrap 50 Running
22 25 41 Timmy Hill Ford Poynt.com 50 Running
23 33 40 Erik Darnell Chevrolet SheboyganAuto.com 50 Running
24 37 70 Tony Raines Dodge Country Inn & Suites 50 Running
25 26 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Clements Automotive 50 Running
26 12 43 Michael Annett Ford Pilot Flying J 48 Running
27 36 23 Bill Prietzel Chevrolet R3 Motorsports 48 Running
28 27 126 John Young Dodge Eklekt Technologies Group 47 Out Of Fuel
29 9 32 Miguel Paludo Chevrolet Duroline Brakes and Components 47 Running
30 24 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota G-Oil / Ryobi 46 Running
31 32 39 Josh Richards Ford NSW Kids 41 Running
32 34 124 Casey Roderick * Chevrolet West Virginia Miners 40 Running
33 18 87 Alex Kennedy Toyota Global Barter / St. Baldricks 38 Running
34 42 4 Matthew Bell Chevrolet Extreme Bidder 36 Running
35 21 159 Kyle Kelley Chevrolet Jamison Eng. / UPR.com 29 Engine
36 41 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Schneider Electric 26 Handling
37 43 50 T.J. Bell Chevrolet Beaver Bail Bonds 24 Rear End
38 40 108 Matt Frahm Ford Randy Hill Racing 14 Brakes
39 35 52 Ryan Ellis Chevrolet Cobblestone Inn & Suites 4 Ignition
40 39 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet TheMotorsportsGroup.com 4 Brakes
41 31 47 Matt DiBenedetto Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 3 Overheating
42 38 42 Tim Schendel Chevrolet SheboyganAuto.com 3 Vibration
43 30 10 Jeff Green Toyota TriStar Motorsports 2 Vibration

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