Geared up to make his first-career start for NTS Motorsports, Nelson Piquet, Jr. secured the fourth starting position for the No. 9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet for the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
With the race in full action under the lights Friday evening, Piquet began reporting to the team in the opening laps that his Silverado was too loose and the team began to work on a plan for the first pit stop of the 134-lap event.
Preparing to make a green-flag stop, the team received a break on lap 40 when the caution waved. The team called Piquet to pit road to change four tires, add fuel and to make a round of adjustments to tighten the handling of the No. 9 Chevrolet. The race restarted on lap 45.
Continuing to battle a loose-handling truck, Piquet slipped to 13th before being told by crew chief Bruce Cook to "hold onto it until the next caution and we will take a big swing at a change to help the truck." The team was able to make changes to the No. 9 Silverado when the caution waved on lap 63 changing four tires, adding fuel and making a spring rubber and track bar adjustment. The race restarted on lap 69.
Five laps after the lap 69 restart, Piquet again reported to Cook that he was still loose. The team made their final stop of the race during the lap 95 caution making a routine four tire and fuel stop with another round of adjustments. The race restarted with Piquet in the 17th position.
Working on moving back to the front of the field, Piquet was caught up in a multi-truck accident on lap 101 that ended the No. 9 Silverado team's race. The accident left the team with a 31st-place finish in the 2013 season finale.
Nelson Piquet, Jr.'s Post-Race Thoughts:
"The NTS Motorsports team gave me a very fast truck and I was able to qualify close to the front of the field. The truck got too loose during the race, so Bruce (Cook) was working on changes to improve the handling on the No. 9. Unfortunately, I was taken out of the race by an accident that I couldn't avoid."