Finnish racing star Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula 1 champion, will make an unlikely racing debut tonight in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Raikkonen, 31, a native of Finland, is the latest in a string of open-wheel stars who have made their way to NASCAR.
“I want to try different things and this wasn’t the first time that I have been offered to come here. I had a good time to come and see how it is and learn and try to get better in it,” he said. “That’s really the only reason that I came. I was interested to see how it is and how it feels and how it is racing in NASCAR.”
“It’s the same story here. For sure, it’s a different sport. Different type of racing than what we have in Europe. It’s very popular here and maybe it looks easy, but it’s not so easy to be fast. We’ll see how it goes and what the future will bring. We go step-by-step and see what happens.”
He walked away from F1 after the 2009 season, waiving the last year of his contract with Ferrari after three successful seasons with the Scuderia. He was replaced by Fernando Alonso. Since then, he has confined his racing to rallying.