X Team Racing Brings Four-Car Assault to RichmondPress Release
“NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Regular Nelson Piquet Jr. Seeks Win No. 2″STATESVILLE, N.C. (April 25, 2012) – Round Three of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship will take place this Thursday in an action-packed day at Richmond International Raceway. For the first time, X Team Racing – which leads the owner point standings – will expand to a four-car program for the Blue Ox 100 with team regulars Daniel Suarez and Carlos Iaconelli joined by Nelson Piquet Jr. and Duarte Ferreira.
Of the quartet, Suarez carries the most K&N Pro Series East experience. The driver of the #14 Telmex/Telcel/Finsa/Roca Acero Toyota will be making his 10th career start and his second appearance at the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval and will be looking to add to his current record of four top-10 finishes. Suarez, who also competes in the NASCAR Toyota Series in his native Mexico, currently leads X Team’s charge in the driver point standings with an eighth-place ranking, only 11 points shy of the top spot.
“I am looking forward to Richmond,” said Suarez. “My first two races in the East Series have not been as good as I wanted. I have experience at this track and that for sure will help me. I will be looking for a good result there.”
Iaconelli, who pilots the #15 Bienvenidos a NASCAR/Mayor Cars Toyota, will be making his third K&N Pro Series East start and his first appearance at Richmond. The Brazilian impressed in his last outing, running solidly in the top five until contact on a restart near the halfway point of the race sent him to the tail end of the field.
“Richmond is going to be another challenge for me,” noted Iaconelli. “I have never been to this track, but I am confident we are going to do a good job. The track is similar to Phoenix and we had a great race there. I’m really looking forward to it!”
Piquet will be making his second career K&N Pro Series East start with X Team Racing. The former Formula One driver made a memorable debut in the season-opener at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway where he clinched the pole position and scored a hard-fought victory – the first in NASCAR for a Brazilian driver/team combination. Piquet, who will pilot the #17 Fox Sports Toyota, has 16 top-10 finishes in 34 career NASCAR Camping World Series starts but will be turning his first laps at Richmond.
“I told the team that if I won at Bristol the only prize I wanted was to race again for them and it’s all worked out,” said Piquet. “This time will be more difficult than Bristol as it will be the first time I’ve driven at Richmond and I’ll be competing against drivers that have experience there. But without doubt it’s a great opportunity to stay racing while we have a three-week break in the Truck Series and it will also continue to give me valuable NASCAR experience.”
Ferreira, whose background is in open-wheel cars, will be looking to continue his learning curve as he prepares to make his second career start aboard the #16 LS Sports/Sonangol Toyota. The driver from Luanda, Angola, made his debut at Greenville Pickens Speedway and also ran strongly in the early stages before being involved in two separate incidents.
“It’s my second race and I would like to learn the maximum possible,” said Ferreira. “This is a new world for me and I will put in all my effort. My priority is to finish the race.”
Thursday’s schedule includes two practice sessions and qualifying with the green flag set to fly on the 100-lap race at 7:00 pm ET. The Blue Ox 100 will be broadcast live on the SPEED channel.
ABOUT X TEAM RACING:
X Team Racing is a NASCAR team that competes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East development series with the goal of becoming a gateway for young Latin American drivers to reach the top level in NASCAR. In its debut season in 2011, the team claimed one win and three poles, placed fourth, fifth and sixth in owners points in the championship and secured Rookie of the Year honors. For more information, visit www.xteamracing.com.
ABOUT CARLOS IACONELLI: Driver of the #15 Bienvenidos a NASCAR / Mayor Cars / Lucas Oil Toyota entry… 24 years old… born June 26, 1987 in Sao Paulo, Brazil… began karting in Brazil at age 10… graduated to cars in 2004, claiming Rookie of the Year honors in Formula Renault Brazil… moved to Europe in 2005, competing in Formula Renault, Formula 3, World Series by Renault, GP2, Formula 2 and Auto GP before switching his focus to the U.S. in late 2011… made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut at Phoenix, qualifying 12th and finishing 11th.
ABOUT DANIEL SUAREZ: Driver of the #14 Telmex / Telcel / Finsa / Roca Acero Toyota entry… 20 years old… born January 7, 1992 in Monterrey, Mexico… was the 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series Rookie of the Year…. made his K&N Pro Series East debut with Troy Williams Racing in 2011… switched to X Team Racing for the final four races of the season, posting three top-10 finishes including a season-best fifth at Columbus Motor Speedway.
ABOUT NELSON PIQUET JR.: Driver of the #17 Fox Sport Toyota entry… 26 years old from Brasilia, Brazil… currently resides in Cornelius, NC… son of three-time Formula One World Champion Nelson Piquet… began racing karts at age 8 in his native Brazil in 1993… graduated to cars in 2001 in Formula 3 competition… successes include winning the 2002 South American F3 Championship, the 2004 British F3 Championship and finishing second in the 2006 GP2 Championship… recorded 28 starts in FIA Formula One World Championship competition for the ING Renault F1 Team in 2008 and 2009, claiming a best finish of second in the German Grand Prix… made his stock car debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Daytona in 2010… finished 10th in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Kevin Harvick Inc., earning a best finish of second at Nashville Superspeedway.
ABOUT DUARTE FERREIRA: Driver of the #16 LS Sports / Sonangol Toyota… 19 years old from Luanda, Angola… born November 1, 1992… began racing mini-karts in Belgium at age 6… finished third in the “Light” division of the Sudam (South American) Formula 3 Championship – his first season of car racing in 2010 whose alumni include Helio Castroneves, Cristiano da Matta and Nelson Piquet… competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship in 2011, finishing eighth overall with 10 top-10 results in 14 races and a best finish of third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway… became the first driver from Angola to contest a K&N Pro Series East event in his stock car race debut today.
- X Team Racing Press Release
Article Tags: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NCWTS, Nelson Piquet Jr., NKNPSE, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, RIR