The 2011 rookie class in the Camping World Truck Series could arguably be the best class in the history of the series. Currently, four rookies sit in the Top 11 in points. Those rookies have combined for 13 Top 5 finishes and an impressive 37 Top 10 finishes.
No rookie has been as impressive as Nelson Piquet Jr. During the 2011 season, Piquet has earned four Top 5 finishes (all at 1.5-mile racetracks) and eight Top 10’s. He currently sits in 11th position in points, 18 points out of the Top 10.
Piquet has struggled to find consistency this season, having five DNF’s during his rookie campaign.
With the 2011 season winding down, Piquet is facing uncertainty as we approach 2012. Piquet’s owner, Kevin Harvick, made an announcement in early September that Kevin Harvick Incorporated would shut down at the end of the season . KHI sold a majority of it’s truck team to owner Eddie Sharp . There is a small chance he could end up at ESR in 2012.
Piquet has said his future is open to the highest bidder. “It’s down to Turner, Penske, and Kyle Busch Motorsports,” he said. KBM is expanding their operation into the Nationwide Series in 2012, but they will keep their truck team intact in 2012.
Penske Racing has announced they will more than likely field a full-time effort in the Nationwide Series for Sam Hornish Jr. They will also continue to run the No. 22 with Brad Keselowski in a majority of the races.
Turner Motorsports has announced they will run three full-time NNS programs in 2012, with two of the teams having a different rotation of drivers. TMS also plans to run at least two full-time trucks in the CWTS in 2012. They may field a third truck is if Ricky Carmichael stays in the series.
Unlike most drivers shopping around for a ride during the silly season, Piquet seems to hold his destiny in his hands. Piquet brought sponsorship from Qualcomm, Bozzano, Jontex, Autotrac, and Tagg to almost every race this year on his No. 8 KHI owned truck and has funding in place for a ride next season.
Piquet is most notably known for deliberately crashing at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 to help his teammate, Fernando Alonso win the race. The scandal has become one of the most important in F1 history. In December 2010, Piquet won a libel case in the higher court against the Renault.