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Raikkonen unsure what’s next in NASCAR
Question of the Day
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Kimi Raikkonen was vague Thursday about his NASCAR plans, indicating little more than he’d like to do a Sprint Cup race, maybe on the road course on Sonoma.
The former Formula One world champion will run the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and revealed nothing more about his schedule.
The most telling update came from Kyle Busch, who said he has nothing else planned with Raikkonen after this weekend. That’s a change from when their deal was announced: Busch said Raikkonen would run three to five races for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
What’s changed? Money.
“The contract states that we’re supposed to receive so much, and we have not. We’ve only received enough for these two races,” Busch said. “It’s either up to Kimi or up to the financial people that run Kimi’s business side of things and decide that they need to find the sponsorship funds in order to carry the experience for him further.”
Raikkonen made his NASCAR debut last weekend for KBM, driving to a 15th-place finish in the Trucks Series race. Although his car for the Nationwide race is technically owned by NEMCO Motorsports, KBM has a heavy hand in the effort.
Thursday was Raikkonen’s first day in the Nationwide car, but said he felt confident because he learned the track last weekend. The next step is a Cup race, but the Finn, who reveals very little in his media sessions, didn’t give up very much information.
“Of course, you always have in mind to try to do it. Another thing is it going to happen or not? I don’t know,” he said. “Of course I am probably more keen to the road courses than anything else.”
He said he heads back to Europe on Saturday after the race.
“I have other things to do,” he said. “After that, I don’t know when I will be back. I have rally in Greece and some other rallies.”
Raikkonen tested a Cup car on the road course this week at Virginia International Raceway for Robby Gordon Motorsports, but said he took a turn too wide and tried to run through the grass. It cut short his day.
“I went out and just ran a bit wide and I decided to go in the grass, but unfortunately there was a big hole in the grass and it destroyed the front a bit,” he said.
Carl Edwards praised Raikkonen after seeing him practice Thursday.
“He is loose and he was driving the wheels off it,” Edwards said. “I was just surprised. I didn’t know who was in that car. I had no clue, and then I saw that (sponsor) Perky Jerky on there and I thought it might be him, but he definitely has some car control, that’s for sure. That’s not lip service. That was pretty amazing.”
Raikkonen spent nine years in Formula One, driving for Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari. He totaled 18 wins, 62 podium finishes and won the 2007 championship.
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