Saturday, April 2, 2011

Former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen makes the jump to NASCAR to run a limited Truck Series schedule for KBM in 2011.

What a Saturday afternoon we have here, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on SPEED and now news that yet another open wheel racer, this time from Formula 1 will be making the jump to NASCAR.

After much speculation over the years and including a recent published report in a Finland newspaper, former Formula 1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen will now try his hand in NASCAR racing.

Earlier today, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that they have signed Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starting next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"We are honored that Kimi Raikkonen, a former Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion and proven winner, has chosen to start his career in NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Busch. "Adding one of the most talented drivers in the world is a continuation of building a team of proven winners and champions at KBM. I look forward to assisting in Kimi's transition to NASCAR as both an owner and teammate."

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Raikkonen. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track."

"We are extremely excited to have Kimi Raikkonen begin his transition to NASCAR behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Toyota Tundra's," said KBM General Manager Rick Ren. "As NASCAR looks to expand their fan base and generate further interest in certain demographics, having a former Formula 1 Champion with worldwide appeal is a huge deal not just for KBM but for the sport as a whole." – Quotes from KBM Press Release.
As not only a NASCAR fan, but a Motorsports fan who watches some Formula 1 racing on television, I am quite interested in seeing what a former Formula 1 Champion can do in NASCAR. I mean NASCAR is a completely different type of racing from F1, we in NASCAR do things very differently and the racing is very different as well. For one thing, NASCAR drivers aren’t afraid of beating and banging on each other including banging fenders.

This should be interesting and entertaining to watch for sure, but I do have to say that the last place I expected Raikkonen to land is at KBM. Of course this announcement only comes 2011, it has nothing to do with 2012.

Only time will tell what 2012 will bring.