Crashing in Formula One is taken pretty seriously. Especially if you did it on purpose. Which goes a long way towards explaining why the motorsport community is calling for the blood of Nelson Piquet Jr. The disgraced Renault driver was, in the end, the perpetrator of the so-called Crashgate affair. But while his boss and manager Flavio Briatore was kicked out of Formula One (and any involvement in any FIA-sanctioned racing series) as a result, and technical director Pat Symonds received a five-year ban. For his part, Piquet walked as part of the whistle-blower deal brokered with the FIA. So it may be a little hard to appreciate the young driver's standpoint that he's suffered the most out of the affair.
On this side of the Atlantic, however, stock cars crash all the time. It's just part of the spectacle. So while Piquet, Jr. may have a hard time finding a race seat in Formula One or any other Euro-centric racing series, he may – like Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve and Scott Speed, to name just a few – try his hand at stock car racing. Well, stock truck racing, more specifically.
According to new reports, Piquet is scheduled to test a Toyota Tundra race truck fielded by the Red Horse team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the next couple of weeks. The report, originating from Brazil's Globo television, further suggests that Piquet has a strategy in place to spend one year in trucks and another year in the second-tier Nationwide Series before graduating to the top-tier Sprint Cup in 2012. The question is, how will American racing drivers – and just as importantly, American racing fans – greet the embattled grand prix driver?
[Sources: AutoWeek and Autosport | Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty]