Many have speculated how long rally racing would hold Kimi Raikkonen’s interest, and apparently we now have the answer. According to a report in Turun Sanomat, the Kimster will follow his former McLaren team mate, Juan Pablo Montoya, to the ranks of NASCAR.
According to the report, the laconic Finn will get his feet wet in the NASCAR truck series to begin with, and will then move on to Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. He will be part of a new team, to be known as ICE1 Racing, as is his current rally team.
Said the Kimster about his latest planned venture, “I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarise 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.”
This is not to say that he’ll be forsaking rally driving altogether. He still plans to participate in eight WRC this year. But he’ll be mixing that with the tin top events on America’s high banked speedways, making his first forays to the ribs and fried chicken venues this summer. Kimi has always had attention span issues, and this might have something to do with his latest branching out into new formulas.
Could NASCAR be Kimi’s permanent home of the future? Juan Pablo Montoya seems to be a happy convert. I can see one obstacle for Kim. He’s never been known as a workaholic, and I’m skeptical that he’ll ever willingly maintain a full NASCAR schedule. After all, the good ol’ boys of the southern stock car world run nearly 40 races per season in the Sprint Cup series alone, and many of them moonlight in National events as well. Heck, that sounds like a full time job!