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Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

Posted on: April 2, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: April 2, 2011 10:18 am
 
Posted by Pete Pistone

The rumors of former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen coming to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series earlier this week were true. However it will be with a different team.

Raikkonen will join Kyle Busch Motorsports for a limited truck series effort this summer rather than driving for a new organization including controversial former Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Foster Gillett. The entry will debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20.

Team News Release

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 2, 2011) - Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that they have signed former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 season. Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut as a teammate to owner Kyle Busch in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.

Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes. The 31-year old is currently competing for a World Rally Car Championship for his own team, ICE 1 Racing.

"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."

Details of sponsorship and a schedule of races that Raikkonen will compete in will be released at a later date.

 

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Comments

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: April 11, 2011 9:52 am
 

Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

I was up at "dark AM" the other morning and watched a Formula 1 race.  Either F-1 does not show well on TV or this is the most boring racing on the planet.  If driving around a "track" with absolutely no way another car is going to pass, especially for 1st place, etc is the type of racing in F1 then not for me.  I get it, racing around in circles and little excitement is no better, but F1 is no longer fun or exciting ( I have watched more than the other night, fyi).  My point, why not try something else?  And for Kyle Busch truck racing especially.



Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: April 8, 2011 11:15 am
 

Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

Juan Pablo Montoya brought with him Championships but more importantly all of South America to draw new fans to the global growth of NASCAR.  Marcos Ambrose brings with him one large continent being Austraila to boot.  If you are trying to manufacture something you have to think of your audiance.

If you are looking to bring back the United States fans, stick a Yank in the Seat!


Absolutley ridiculous. As a sports fan, I want to see the very best at what they do--no matter where they're from. NASCAR isn't going to lose market share because one scandanavian driver is in a truck seat!



Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

Absolutely!  KBM will get some buzz for a fleeting moment with no long term potential.



Since: Aug 16, 2008
Posted on: April 5, 2011 5:19 am
 

Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

This is rather stunning to me. I used to follow Kimi very closely, I've even been by his old house in Espoo when I vacationed in Finland. I thought he would be content with Rally for some time, maybe some Le Mans class racing in Europe. He'll just be another European guy making the transition, which is sad since he possesses incredible skills. JPM has the same all-world talent but he brought a massive new fanbase; Kimi won't.



Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: April 4, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Raikkonen to drive for Kyle Busch

Kimi bringing his skills to NASCAR is an interesting twist of talent aqusition on the part of Kyle Busch.  I recognize that anytime you have a World Champion joinging another race team it brings a buzz for sure.

I as a fan do not feel that Kimi is the right former World Champion to benefit NASCAR or for that matter KBM.  Having a driver from Finland which the rank and file fans do not know if that country is located let alone to the right or left of Sweeden.  If the name was Mika Hakkinen people might have an idea and with the firery personality might have been better.

Juan Pablo Montoya brought with him Championships but more importantly all of South America to draw new fans to the global growth of NASCAR.  Marcos Ambrose brings with him one large continent being Austraila to boot.  If you are trying to manufacture something you have to think of your audiance.

If you are looking to bring back the United States fans, stick a Yank in the Seat!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com