Nelson Piquet Jr. became the first driver born outside the United States to claim a checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway after the Brazilian won Saturday evening’s Widow Wax 125 presented by Seal Wrap Repair Tape.

Piquet Jr. won from the pole in a hotly contested affair for the K&N Pro Series East.

“It wasn’t the best thing having the last yellow flag,” Piquet said from Victory Lane.” I was worried a little because oil had been dropped in my line. I managed to keep the first position and made it to the end.

“I’m sure this is the first of many wins for my team. I don’t know if I am the first Brazilian to win in the K&N Series, but I’m trying to learn the best that I can, and I’m going to get there.”

While the race winner hails from Brasilia, Brazil, crew chief Chris Carrier is, ironically, from Bristol.  

“This is great,” he said. “I already liked this track. I love it even more now. It is great. It is even better to have a win for Chris Carrier. This is his home track. I dedicate this win to him for all of his hard work.”

Piquet called his father back in Brazil from Victory Lane to relay the good news about his victory because he could not see the event on television.  Carrier, whose father passed away just a few weeks ago, said he knew his father was able to watch.

“He loved coming here,” Carrier said. “He came here when I was involved with winners here like Rick Wilson and Harry Gant. I learned a lot from him and know he had a good seat in Heaven to watch. I know he was telling all the angels how proud he was of his son.

“There is nothing better than Victory Lane in your hometown. This is the greatest racing facility on Earth. To me, and I’m a huge football fan, and I love the Green Bay Packers. This is like Lambeau in December. This is the way it should be.”

Piquet led several laps to begin the event, before being passed by Chase Elliott, son of 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bill Elliott, before the halfway break. On lap 75, Elliott was spun from the lead by the son of another Cup Series driver, Ryan Blaney.

“We were loose to start off the race,” Blaney explained. “No one thought the track would be so slick. Our car was able to do what others couldn’t do. It looked like only Nelson or I could run like that.

“I was biding my time following Chase. I got a run off of turn four and got in to one too hot and just touched his left rear. I apologize for that.”

Blaney finished second, while Ryan Gifford finished third. Andrew Smith and Derek Ramstrom rounded out the top-five. Ben Kennedy, Chad Finchum, Michael McGuire, Kyle Larson and Elliott completed the top-10.

Tickets still are available for Sunday’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series event.

For more information about Bristol tickets, please call 423-BRISTOL or visit