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.