Kyle Busch Motorsports announced on Saturday that 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will drive for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-leading squad in selected races this year, starting at Charlotte on May 20.
Contrary to previous reports, Raikkonen will not be fielding his own squad in the Truck series but driving for NASCAR star Kyle Busch, whose team has won two of the series' three 2011 races. Raikkonen will be driving as teammate to Busch in a limited number of races, as the former Ferrari and McLaren racer will alternate his NASCAR foray with his World Rally Championship schedule.
Raikkonen will start his NASCAR transition next week with his first test at Gresham Motorsports Park, a half-mile track where he will get his first taste of an oval.
"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 racetrucks. "I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the racetrack."
Busch was thrilled with the opportunity of having Raikkonen in his team, as he looks to help the 31-year-old in making a smooth move to NASCAR.
"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."
The Busch team's announcement made no mention of Foster Gillett, which it had been suggested would be a partner in Raikkonen's NASCAR move.