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Nelson Piquet

NASCAR Driver

1.) What advice do you have for an aspiring NASCAR driver?

I often get asked if it’s something you’re born with or if it’s something you can learn. I believe you can learn. But you need to love it to really dedicate yourself to it. It’s like any professional job I think.You also need to be prepared for some tough times, because it is not an easy ride. To keep winning and keep happy is one thing but you have to be able to keep motivated and working hard when you have tough times.

 

2.) What is your career highlight so far?

I have had some career highlights that I am very proud of. In Formula One, highlights were my first podium in Hockenheim 2008, my fourth place finish in Japan 2008 and my sixth in Hungary the same year. Before I reached F1 I had some amazing career moments that I will always remember. I won every championship I raced in go-karts. I was South American F3 champion in 2002, British F3 champion in 2004. I set the record in GP2 for the first driver to have a perfect weekend, scoring the maximum points available, in Hungary 2006. In NASCAR, the highlight has to be the win at Road America in the Nationwide Series this month in only my third NNS start. That was an amazing moment.

 

3.) What is the toughest part about being a NASCAR driver?

It’s very different to single seater racing but I got used to it quickly right back in the first tests I did. It’s a different discipline and every weekend I learn more. A lot of people think the schedule is punishing but it is my ideal situation to be racing nearly every weekend, I love to spend as much time at the race track as I can.

 

4.) Who were your heroes growing up?

It was my father, Nelson Piquet. He won the Formula 1 championship three times but more than that he did an incredible amount for the sport in terms of technical development. If you know my father’s story in detail, that is why he is my hero.

 

5.) What was your favorite subject in school? Why?

I liked Geography and Math. They were the subjects I understood well and I enjoyed them.

 

6.) What do you like to do in your free time?

We don’t get a lot of time when we are not racing or testing or travelling, but I like to spend time with my family and friends when I am away from the track. When I am home in Brazil I like a lot of watersports like wakeboarding and jet-skiing and I’ve quite recently got into triathlons so I’m spending time training.