2012 Rockingham NASCAR Truck Series Starting Lineup – Nelson Piquet Jr. pole sitter

Rockingham, N.C. (April 14, 2012) – Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. edged rookie Paulie Harraka by one one-thousandth of a second Saturday to earn his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole during qualifying for Sunday’s inaugural Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 at Rockingham Speedway.

Piquet, driving a Chevrolet, posted a144.387-mph lap, while Harraka’s Ford clocked in at 144.381 mph — 24.933 to 24.934 seconds on the 1-mile track.

“Honestly, when I finished my lap I told the guys on the radio it wasn’t my best lap; we could have gone a little bit better,” said Piquet, whose Keystone Light Pole Award came in his 33rd race. “I was expecting maybe a top 5, but I wasn’t expecting a pole at all. I think the track probably got much warmer and got a bit slower for everybody else.”

Rounding out the top 10, respectively, were: Timothy Peters, Toyota, 143.937 mph; Jason Leffler, Toyota, 143.730; Brad Sweet, Chevrolet, 143.392; Parker Kligerman, Dodge, 143.147; Todd Bodine, Toyota, 143.033; Matt Crafton, Toyota, 142.976; Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 142.885; and Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 142.693.

LINEUP
1 30 Nelson Piquet Jr. Qualcomm / AutoTrac Chevrolet 24.933 144.387
2 5 Paulie Harraka # Send Soldier to Rock / Wauters Mtrspts Ford 24.934 144.381
3 17 Timothy Peters Strutmasters.com Toyota 25.011 143.937
4 18 Jason Leffler Dollar General Toyota 25.047 143.730
5 4 Brad Sweet Rockwell Tools Chevrolet 25.106 143.392
6 29 Parker Kligerman Draw-Tite / MOPAR RAM 25.149 143.147
7 11 Todd Bodine Toyota Care Toyota 25.169 143.033
8 88 Matt Crafton Menards / Ideal Door Toyota 25.179 142.976
9 60 Grant Enfinger Turn One Racing Chevrolet 25.195 142.885
10 13 Johnny Sauter Hot Honeys / Curb Records Toyota 25.229 142.693

11 98 Dakoda Armstrong # EverFi.com Toyota 25.238 142.642
12 3 Ty Dillon # Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet 25.257 142.535
13 33 Cale Gale # Rheem Chevrolet 25.290 142.349
14 08 Ross Chastain # Florida Watermelon Association Toyota 25.299 142.298
15 24 Max Gresham # Made in USA Brand Chevrolet 25.306 142.259
16 31 James Buescher Koike.com Chevrolet 25.324 142.158
17 22 Joey Coulter Strutmasters.com / RCR Chevrolet 25.346 142.034
18 92 Chad McCumbee FleetHQ.com / BTS Tire / QMI Chevrolet 25.354 141.989
19 6 Justin Lofton CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet 25.394 141.766
20 09 John Wes Townley # RAB Racing Toyota 25.409 141.682
21 81 David Starr Zachry Toyota 25.521 141.060
22 9 Ron Hornaday Jr. Joe Denette Motorsports Chevrolet 25.594 140.658
23 32 Miguel Paludo Duroline Brakes Chevrolet 25.625 140.488
24 75 Caleb Holman # Food Country USA / Wise Snacks Chevrolet 25.631 140.455
25 7 John King # Consol Energy Toyota 25.644 140.384
26 02 Tyler Young Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet 25.648 140.362
27 27 Jeb Burton # State Water Heaters Chevrolet 25.677 140.203
28 23 Jason White GunBroker.com Ford 25.720 139.969
29 2 Timothy George Jr. Applebee’s Chevrolet 25.778 139.654
30 14 Brennan Newberry Ironclad Performance Wear Chevrolet 25.830 139.373
31 99 Bryan Silas # Rockingham Speedway Ford 25.965 138.648
32 39 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Chevrolet 26.048 138.206
33 93 Chris Cockrum RSS Racing / Advanced Commo Chevrolet Owner Points
34 07 Johnny Chapman ASI Limited Toyota Owner Points
35 57 Norm Benning Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet Owner Points
36 70 Jeff Agnew Team 7 Motorsports Chevrolet 25.835 139.346

Harraka, from Fair Lawn, N.J., missed recording his first career pole due to his Ford being a little too tight in turns one and two, an issue he faced in all of his mock qualifying runs.

“I was able to get back to the throttle pretty early and pretty hard (in turns one and two),” Harraka said after posting his first top-10 this season. “Rolled off there and knew I was going to get down into the (turns) three and four side and I’m probably going to be tight, so I rolled out of the throttle pretty early getting into (turn) three. As soon as I got down to the bottom I was back in it and back in it really hard coming off. I spent a lot of time in the throttle for sure.”

Piquet’s second top-10 starting position this season eclipsed his previous best of second in August 2011 at Bristol Motor Speedway and resulted in him predicting more poles for his team this year.

“I think I will be strong this year,” Piquet said. “It’s my second year in the truck series and I think I’m ready to fight for the championship.”

Entering Sunday’s race, Piquet is eighth in the standings, 21 points behind leader John King.

Piquet readily admits Rockingham is a “very difficult track, very driver demanding”, characteristics that Peters notes means Sunday’s race will be about discipline.

“I think tomorrow [Sunday with temperatures in the low 80s] you will see a lot of people race the race track,” Peters said after posting his second top-10 start in three races this year. “It’s going to be about discipline, trying to save your tires. The best part about our situation is that everybody at lap halfway will get an extra set of tires released to them. It’s just going to make a great race for the fans.”

For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets for any of the speedway’s events, contact Rockingham Speedway at 910.205.8800 or visit online at www.rockinghamspeedway.com.