NASCAR Räikkönen to NASCAR


Podium Finisher
Raikkonen goes NASCAR

Turun Sanomat 29.3 2011 15:07:20

The world champion of Formula One and current rally star Kimi Raikkonen expands his field of experiences: The 31-year-old Finn is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR

The spectacular NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be already before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year.

With the world famous newcomer driver there will be also a brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team.

Among others Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadiens NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club.

Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.
American spirit
inspires Raikkonen

– I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR. I have been following it for a long time. I know, it’s a very tough and open top racing series. I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me, Raikkonen assures to Turun Sanomat.

As every rookie Raikkonen will start his NASCAR career with a race in World Camping Truck series. After that Kimi is going to Nationwide and will be adding the Sprint Cup series as well upon successful completion of the NASCAR approval process.

Most of the drivers are competing in all three main series.

The negotations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits.
Racing with
Montoya again
NASCAR has hit the top of popularity almost without Formula One champions. The latest F1 champion involved with NASCAR was Jacques Villeneuve a couple of years ago. The local hero Mario Andretti had his spell in NASCAR, too.

With Raikkonen going to NASCAR there will be exciting meeting of two previous McLaren team mates. Juan Pablo Montoya was a thundering pair of Raikkonen in 2005 and 2006. Now the Columbian is one the few F1 stars who have made it to top of this highly challenging class of motor sports.

Turun Sanomat

Interesting news... Hopefully he does better there than in rally.
Well, it's only the Trucks to begin with, so he won't be racing Montoya. It's potentially a very busy schedule they run there, though, so I wonder whether Kimi's thinking his future lies outside rallying? Doing a handful of races a year isn't going to smooth his learning curve very much.

It'll be interesting to see how he gets on. Plenty of very good drivers from Europe, and from open-wheel series, have struggled badly to get a foothold in NASCAR.

I wonder if RKs accident has given Kimi second thoughts about rallying.

As you say, he may find it more difficult in NASCAR than most people that follow F1 might expect. Despite the disparaging remarks made about that form of racing on this and other forums, it may be simple, but it most emphatically is not EASY.
Kimi would have to come to grips with Nelsinho Piquet before getting a chance at Montoya. :D

Raikkonen should do fairly well in the Truck Series if it happens though.
At first, I thought, "Kimi..........NASCAR.......WTH?" :o :givemestrength: :o
Then I came across a Speed Channel article that pretty much confirmed the OP's news item............

Speed Channel: F1--Raikkonen To Combine Rally With NASCAR In 2011
FWIW, I think Raikkonen will do alright in NASCAR, once he gets the hang of turning left for hundreds of miles at a time. He's also going about it the right way, starting w/the Trucks & working his way up the ladder the way Australian V8 racer Marcos Ambrose did a couple of years ago when he came over to the States' to race(Ambrose started in the trucks, moved up to Nationwide and now competes in Sprint Cup full-time).

The key for Raikkonen will be getting plenty of seat time as he moves up the ladder; I wouldn't be surprised if Kimi, besides doing both Rally & NASCAR events this years, throws in a few Grand-Am races as well just to get as much seat time as possible.
Here we go, heres a question for all the nerds here, Has a european ever won a Nascar race?

If there is don't think theres many just shows what a challenge Kimis got, Theres been a couple who have tried in recent years and failed, right?
According to Jayski's Silly Season site three foreign-born drivers' have won NASCAR-sanctioned events...........
---Juan Pablo Montoya(Colombia), 2 wins--Infineon[2007] & Watkins Glen[2010]
---Earl Ross(Canada), 1 win--Martinsville[1974]
---Mario Andretti(Italy), 1 win--Daytona[1967]
......there would've been four drivers above had it not been for Marcos Ambrose's infamous "brain fade" incident at Infineon last year.......... :o:o:o
Ah! of course i forgot about Andretti, when i was younger i just thought he was Amereican not American neutralized, think that still sticks in my head a little.

Wow if theres only 3 that suprising to me, the point of asking about europeans was that id thought a lot more South Americans and Canadiens for that matter might of won a few here and there. I suppose that just shows the challenge Kimi has got on his hands.
Interestingly, granted not NASCAR itself, but the IROC races are a spec series in North America that uses bespoke NASCAR style cars, all prepared identically and rotated between races, for a short series.

As far as I'm aware, our Brundle is the only British driver to ever win an IROC race. IROC XIV 1990 - Wiki

Competing in that series with Martin, along with an array of other successful NASCAR drivers, was Emerson Fittipaldi, Geoff Brabham and Dale Earnhardt.

Great job Martin :goodday:
They cut into FP2 on SPEED today to show Kimi get into his Truck and do his first couple practice laps. He's still pounding round the track right now.

The race is tonight.

edit - Montoya just popped over into Kimi's garage.
It'll be a miracle if he's able to bring that car to the finnish the way he's driving.

But it was quite entertaining to watch.
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