NASCAR: Global Rallycross points leader Piquet Jr. to make Cup debut at the Glen

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Nelson Piquet Jr. will not only be returning to NASCAR in this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.

He’ll also be looking to make his first Sprint Cup Series start.

Piquet Jr., who has flourished this year in Red Bull Global Rallycross and currently sits as the series’ points leader, will drive the No. 77 Randy Humphrey Racing Ford Fusion with backing from WORX Yard Tools.

“Nelson Piquet Jr. is an extremely talented race car driver,” Humphrey said in a statement. “It’s been impressive to watch him race, not just in NASCAR, but in Formula One and Rallycross as well.

“He’s excelled at all levels of racing and we’re very excited about his Sprint Cup Series debut with RHR.”

In Red Bull GRC, Piquet Jr. has earned four podium finishes in the first five races of 2014 and holds a 46-point edge in the championship over Scott Speed.

But before Piquet Jr. migrated to GRC, he competed full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season for Turner Scott Motorsports. He earned five Top-10 finishes (best finish, 8th at Kentucky 1) and finished 12th in the NNS standings.

Prior to 2013, he ran full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He also ran a limited number of NNS races in those years, and took the checkered flag in the 2012 NNS event at Road America.

“Ever since I made my NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at The Glen in 2010, I’ve wanted to do the same in a Sprint Cup car,” Piquet Jr. said in the same release.

“I’ve really enjoyed racing in other series this year, but I’ve missed being in the NASCAR garage. I’m very grateful to Randy Humphrey, Bray Pemberton and WORX Yard Tools for making this opportunity happen.”

Piquet Jr. made his official NASCAR national series debut in the 2010 Truck Series’ season opener at Daytona International Speedway after running 28 races in Formula One across 2008 and 2009.

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”