A week after a former Formula 1 driver made news with his possible exit from NASCAR, another one enters as Kevin Harvick Inc. announced Monday that Nelson Piquet Jr. would drive for the team full-time in 2011 in the Camping World Truck Series.
Piquet ran five Truck Series races in 2010 with Red Horse Racing and Billy Ballew Racing with three top 10s. He also ran the Nationwide Series race for Baker-Curb Racing at Watkins Glen, finishing 7th.
He came to NASCAR under some dramatic and controversial circumstances after alleging that he was ordered to crash his car at Singapore to help his teammate at the time, Fernando Alonso, win the race. Team orders in Formula 1? Unbelievable. (Piquet's deal with KHI coincidentally comes a week after he received a settlement payment from Renault for the controversy following that Singapore race)
Because Piquet ran just five races in 2010, he's eligible to compete for the 2011 Rookie of the Year award. He'll have good equipment from KHI, and it wouldn't be incredibly surprising if he won a race by the end of 2011. And given that Scott Speed has said that he's willing to take a Nationwide or Truck ride -- provided one is offered -- maybe the two will race head-to-head at some point next year.