Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kimi Räikkönen Doesn't Disappoint in NASCAR Debut, ends up finishing 15th in a wild Truck Series race. Reports say Raikkonen to make Nationwide Series debut soon…

One of the reasons why I wanted to watch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was because I wanted to see what the former F1 Champion and current World Rally driver Kimi Räikkönen could do in his NASCAR debut.

Now I have to say that I’m not much on this whole open wheel invasion deal that has been going on for the past several years, but I do support a driver from another series wanting to race in NASCAR. Its cool on a number of levels to see what drivers from other series can do and think of NASCAR especially “Bot’s, Have at it” and the contact racing.

NASCAR has seen several drivers over the last several years come in to NASCAR from other forms of racing including current drivers Juan Montoya, Patrick Carpentier (running in Nationwide Series in Canada) and Danica Patrick, just to name a few. While other like Dario Franchitti and more ended up leaving after a short time but it was nice seeing them try their hand at NASCAR anyway.
So I was curious to see what Kimi Räikkönen could do and I wasn’t disappointed. He practice from from the start of the day, he managed to keep his loose truck from being wrecked. He qualified ok but you could see the talent he has in the Truck race itself.

Räikkönen managed to keep the truck from spinning several times and only scraped the wall a few times, but brought the #15 truck home in 15th spot. For his debut race, 15th is a respectable finish. But I would have rather of seen him make his debut at a short track like Martinsville.

Räikkönen said after the race: "The racing was fun. Too many cautions. Every time that I would feel like the car would start to run better then you would have a caution and then it would take the track a long time before the handling comes back. You would rather be more high up, but how it felt this morning, now I was pretty pleased with how it felt in the race. For sure, there is still a lot to learn and improve, but I think when we have another race it will be better." – Quotes from KBM PR

But this Truck race was a wild one. These drivers were very aggressive to say the least and every driver was experiencing a loose truck all night long. Even Kyle Busch spun his truck at one point, but unlike Ron Hornaday and Todd Bodine, Kyle Busch would end up with a spin and win deal as Busch worked his way by Clint Bowyer in a KHI truck to win again in the Truck race.
Well at least Räikkönen was fun to watch and so were the other Truck Series regular drivers as well. What a wild race. And good job to Cole Whitt, he finished 3rd Friday night and he’s the points leader now.

If that was enough, FoxSports.com is reporting that Kimi Räikkönen will make his Nationwide debut next Saturday in the #87 Toyota. According to the report, KBM is partnering with Joe Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports to make this happen… (Read More…)

Personally I would like to see Kimi Räikkönen just race in the Truck Series several more times in 2011 and see what he could do and then make his way up the NASCAR ladder gradually and not make all of these jumps up early. Several drivers in the past have made the jump way to early and while a few are still there including Joey Logano, others are not even racing in NASCAR anymore. But only time will tell.



Full Disclosure: This article was originally published on Brian Vermette's former blog called BVinsight, however once RaceDriven.com was re-launched and rebrand, BVinsight was renamed BVDaily with 33 of 44 articles being published here on RaceDriven due to subject.