Raikkonen to Begin NASCAR Career This Summer

Kimi Raikkonen has made a surprising switch from Formula 1 to rallying a couple of years back, but it seems that the Finn is not committed entirely to his WRC programme for the future. According to a recent report issued by Finland's Turun Sanomat, the 2007 F1 champion is set to begin a whole new career in the North American stock car racing series (NASCAR) from as early as this summer.

The report shows that Raikkonen's first contact with NASCAR racing will take place in the Truck Series under the same ICE1 Racing entry, after which the Finn will slowly progress to the second-tier Nationwide Series and, eventually, the Sprint Cup Series.

No dates have yet been confirmed, but according to the same source Raikkonen benefits from some strong backing in his attempt to make it big in the US. Foster Gillett, the man who sat behind Richard Petty Motorsport's NASCAR efforts last year, will allegedly contribute to ICE1 Racing's budget for the first season.

I'm really looking forward to get there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR,” said Raikkonen, according to the Finnish publication. “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.”

A definitive announcement on the switch will apparently be made once the team will make a final decision on the car to be ran in the Truck Series.

Raikkonen withdrew from F1 at the end of the 2009 season and began a new adventure in the WRC, backed by Red Bull energy drinks company. Having experienced a struggling first season in the series, Raikkonen had secured a 10-round schedule in the championship for 2011.

In case the switch to NASCAR will be completed, he'll most likely spend the second half of the season doing both programmes (including the WRC) in parallel, before dedicating himself completely to the US series starting next year.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories