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Kimi Raikkonen to NASCAR--official announcement


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#1 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:09

Hi guys, the Kimi thread is blowing up as you can imagine and before the NASCAR threads blow up, too, I figured it was worth it's own thread.

If Lewis Hamilton gets his own for just swapping cars for a few minutes with T-Stew, well then surely this is worthy of it's own thread.

The article from Tarun Sannomat, with some commentary from me in bold

Raikkonen goes NASCAR

Turun Sanomat 29.3 2011 15:07:20

The world champion of Formula One and current rally star Kimi Raikkonen expands his field of experiences: The 31-year-old Finn is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR

The spectacular NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be already before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year.

With the world famous newcomer driver there will be also a brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team.

Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadiens NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club.

Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.

First off, this Gillett guy, I think he has a pretty bad reputation now in NASCAR. He's been involved in a big controversy as far as his relationship with Richard Petty, perhaps the most famous Ex-NASCAR (and by far the most successful ever), as far as not meeting financial obligations and having to declare bankruptcy. I forget the details but this is the LAST guy a newcomer to NASCAR should associate with, IMO.

American spirit
inspires Raikkonen

– I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarize 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, Raikkonen assures to Turun Sanomat.

As every rookie Raikkonen will start his NASCAR career with a race in World Camping Truck series. After that Kimi is going to Nationwide and will be adding the Sprint Cup series as well upon successful completion of the NASCAR approval process.
Actually most rookies start in the ARCA series which is one step below Trucks, but still cars. Essentially cast away Sprint Cup cars from several years ago. That's how you get your superspeedway license, for example (you need a separate endorsement to race on the restrictor plate tracks, and the way to do it is to race in ARCA on the "normal" tracks, then in ARCA on a super speedway), then in a truck or N'wide on a superspeedway, then in Cup on the superspeedway. The last two can be done on the same weekend)

Most of the drivers are competing in all three main series.
Not quite true. Many, if not most, have at some point done at least one race in each. But always there is a focus on one and one does maybe none to a few races in another series. There are some exceptions like Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, and Brad Keselowski who pursue the lower series with as much passion and energy as their full season in the top level will allow, but most rarely, if at all, do anything outside their primary series. Also, starting this season each driver must declare which series will be his main focus and is not allowed to earn points in the other ones.

The negotations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits.

Just have to LOL at calling road courses "normal." Of course, from the NASCAR POV they are the exception to the rule. I personally always wish for more circuit racing in NASCAR. But there's a chance we'll see Kimi at Montreal again as the Nationwide series run there now!

Racing with
Montoya again

NASCAR has hit the top of popularity almost without Formula One champions. The latest F1 champion involved with NASCAR was Jacques Villeneuve a couple of years ago. The local hero Mario Andretti had his spell in NASCAR, too.

With Raikkonen going to NASCAR there will be exciting meeting of two previous McLaren team mates. Juan Pablo Montoya was a thundering pair of Raikkonen in 2005 and 2006. Now the Columbian is one the few F1 stars who have made it to top of this highly challenging class of motor sports.


I have to wonder what Montoya's attitude toward Kimi will be if this comes true. I'm pretty sure he hated Kimi at the end of their time together, but time mellows him. I know he's very helpful toward Danica.


I'm most interested in, and suspicious of, this Gilett connection.

from

http://www.ts.fi/moo...uut/208761.html

another link:

http://www.mtv3.fi/u...tee-suomalaiset

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#2 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:10

A weird, obscure article (possibly fake) from 2010 and saying Kimi is in NASCAR from 2012:

http://community.nas...racing_for_2012

#3 freya

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:17

I used to have a lot of respect for kimi. But now I really don't get it. What's the point of going from series to series and eventually not be competative in any of them? He kinda seems to have the headless chicken syndrome. Really sad for a guy who I consider F1's natural talent of 2000s.

PS: Still F1 missed something by losing kimi. Wish the 2007 move never had happend.

Edited by freya, 29 March 2011 - 15:20.


#4 hotstickyslick

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:18

Dodge, Toyota, Chevy or Ford - which one?

#5 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:19

Dodge, Toyota, Chevy or Ford - which one?

LMAO. Red Bull runs Toyotas, and Gilett's team used to run Fords but I think he may have run afoul of Fords.

At this time Fords seem to be the best equipment, but not for long, and only by a little bit.

#6 artista

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:21

LMAO. Red Bull runs Toyotas, and Gilett's team used to run Fords but I think he may have run afoul of Fords.

At this time Fords seem to be the best equipment, but not for long, and only by a little bit.


Ford? While driving a Citroën in WRC? That would be fun :drunk:

EDIT: Not that I would mind if he changed from Citroën to Ford in WRC

Edited by artista, 29 March 2011 - 15:21.


#7 Louis Mr. F1

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:22

is he giving up on WRC after this year? :confused:
will he be driving in NASCAR or just having a NASCAR team with his name?

#8 harrows

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:23

WHAT ON EARTH, KIMMEH!!!?!?!?!??!

:| :| :|

#9 tarmac

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:26

I can't see anything exciting in Nascar.. Do you even need brakes..

#10 artista

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:26

I used to have a lot of respect for kimi. But now I really don't get it. What's the point of going from series to series and eventually not be competative in any of them? He kinda seems to have the headless chicken syndrome. Really sad for a guy who I consider F1's natural talent of 2000s.

PS: Still F1 missed something by losing kimi. Wish the 2007 move never had happend.


I don't think he's going from series to series. I mean, the piece of news is confusing. It states clearly that he's going to do all the rallies he had nominated for the WRC manufacturers championship. It's true he's going to skip two rallies, but they're in May. From June on, he has the whole WRC calendar (7 rallies, 6 in Europe and 1 in Australia). That means he can never do the whole Nascar calendar from June on.

I really find this all very confusing.

EDIT: spelling

Edited by artista, 29 March 2011 - 15:32.


#11 PNSD

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:31

I can't see anything exciting in Nascar.. Do you even need brakes..


Why have you bothered posting if you know nothing about the sport?

:rolleyes:

#12 BiH

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:32

Why have you bothered posting if you know nothing about the sport?

:rolleyes:


its a legit point

lot of tracks they just roll off throttle

#13 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:33

And lots of tracks they use brakes.

#14 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:37

is he giving up on WRC after this year? :confused:
will he be driving in NASCAR or just having a NASCAR team with his name?

There is an updated version of the article and there is a line missing in the one on this thread. It says

Räikkönen will decide upon his continuance based upon how well it goes for him in USA's elite serie.

The full article, with all text (so far):

Raikkonen goes to NASCAR

Turun Sanomat 29.3 2011 15:07:20

The world champion of Formula One and current rally star Kimi Raikkonen expands his field of experiences: The 31-year-old Finn is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR

The spectacular NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be already before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year.

With the world famous newcomer driver there will be also a brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team.

Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadiens NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club.

Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.

American spirit
inspires Raikkonen

– I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarize 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, Raikkonen assures to Turun Sanomat.

As every rookie Raikkonen will start his NASCAR career with a race in World Camping Truck series. After that Kimi is going to Nationwide and will be adding the Sprint Cup series as well upon successful completion of the NASCAR approval process.

Most of the drivers are competing in all three main series.

The negotations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits.

Räikkönen's program will include both oval- and normal track-races.

Räikkönen will decide upon his continuance based upon how well it goes for him in USA's elite serie.

Racing with
Montoya again

NASCAR has hit the top of popularity almost without Formula One champions. The latest F1 champion involved with NASCAR was Jacques Villeneuve a couple of years ago. The local hero Mario Andretti had his spell in NASCAR, too.

With Raikkonen going to NASCAR there will be exciting meeting of two previous McLaren team mates. Juan Pablo Montoya was a thundering pair of Raikkonen in 2005 and 2006. Now the Columbian is one the few F1 stars who have made it to top of this highly challenging class of motor sports.


(Thanks to Wolfie)


#15 hotstickyslick

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:38

I think he may be in for a shock at how 'strange' the handling characteristics of a NASCAR is. Nothing like an open-wheeler or a rally car.

#16 Taxi

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:38

 eheh he just want to go fast. He realy does not care about wining. For me he could even play in that austrian football red bull owned team. He's living la vida loca.  :p

#17 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:41

Also, let me be the first to post the inevitable:



Will we have a chance to see a repeat of this? In NASCAR you can pay a small fee to listen to ANY of the drivers' radios over the internet during the race. I usually listen to Montoya's radio during races.

#18 ktsayshi

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:43

I'll ask here what I asked at the SPEED board: Do the announcements make it unequivocally clear that Räikkönen himself will be driving in NASCAR, or just that ICE1 Racing is running a NASCAR team? ICE1 has a motocross team, too, but Kimi doesn't run on bikes.

^^ Is important, kthx - the prospect of Räikkönen racing at Texas Motor Speedway may mean I have to get season tickets after all.  ;)

#19 domhnall

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:45

^^
Brilliant :lol:

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#20 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:47

I think the Montoya Kimi hate was overplayed.

#21 jonnoj

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:47

I used to have a lot of respect for kimi. But now I really don't get it. What's the point of going from series to series and eventually not be competative in any of them? He kinda seems to have the headless chicken syndrome. Really sad for a guy who I consider F1's natural talent of 2000s.



Kimi is the last of the 'Playboy Racers', that's what made him special.
He's sitting on £50m - so he's off to play. Who can blame him.



#22 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 15:59

I think it's pretty clear it's going to be Raikkonen driving the cars.

#23 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:03

Here's an article about George Gilett, Foster's dad, and his family's involvement in NASCAR:

http://espn.go.com/r...avid/id/5866390

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Good riddance, George Gillett.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Sorry, but it needs to be said, particularly after the public relations statement Richard Petty made Monday after his deal with Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments eliminated Gillett from ownership of Richard Petty Motorsports.

In case you missed this part of the release, Petty said, "George and Foster Gillett deserve a great deal of credit for running a successful race team. They made a significant investment into the business and helped get [it] get back into Victory Lane.''

It's successful only if you call success laying off hundreds of employees, shutting down once-viable engine departments at Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises, making business and financial promises to Ray Evernham after buying majority interest of Evernham Motorsports before merging with the Pettys and failing to keep them, getting RPM into such debt that it barely made the final four races and downsizing RPM from a four- to two-car operation.

What the Gilletts did was basically run RPM into financial ruin and then slip out of town with their wallets between their legs.

And that's not counting the financial strain Gillett was on Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines that supplied chassis and engines to RPM, or the many other vendors Gillett owed money before bailing.

It shouldn't come as a surprise. Gillett jumped ship from the Montreal Canadiens and the Liverpool soccer team because of his financial mismanagement. He is being sued for $117 million by lending firm Mill Financial over monies owed from the Liverpool investment.

I can understand to a degree why Petty might be thankful to Gillett. He enabled him to stay in the sport the past two seasons with his merger of GEM and Petty Enterprises.

But to say Gillett was successful at anything in NASCAR beyond keeping an already-struggling organization on life support is shameful. He left Petty holding the financial bag, forcing NASCAR's "King'' to dip into his own pocket to pay bills that allowed the team to race down the stretch.

The sport doesn't need owners like George Gillett.

Good riddance.



#24 artista

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:05

I only follow Sprint Cup in a casual way (I watch it every now and then and follow the live timing most weekends) and I don’t know much about it, so sorry for the silly question I have:

The news say he’s going to take his IceOne team to Nascar and that he’s going to do trucks first, … and later on Sprint Cup. Can they really do that? Create a team for only a couple of races in the Truck series, then take the team to the National for another couple of races and then to the Sprint Cup?


#25 Villes Gilleneuve

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:07

I can't see anything exciting in Nascar.. Do you even need brakes..


Posted Image

Infidel!

#26 Villes Gilleneuve

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:09

I think it's pretty clear it's going to be Raikkonen driving the cars.


I can see this working, with Ben & Jerry's as sponsor.

Can Kimi pronounce "y'all"?

#27 SennaHolic

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:11

If this turns out to be true, I guess it's a sign of things to come. I expect more European racers to try to make it in NASCAR. Kimi can pick any series he wants to race in. He picked the series that will be the most challenging for him and also provides more racing than any other.

#28 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:14

I only follow Sprint Cup in a casual way (I watch it every now and then and follow the live timing most weekends) and I don’t know much about it, so sorry for the silly question I have:

The news say he’s going to take his IceOne team to Nascar and that he’s going to do trucks first, … and later on Sprint Cup. Can they really do that? Create a team for only a couple of races in the Truck series, then take the team to the National for another couple of races and then to the Sprint Cup?

Good question. It was done for Montoya and is being done for Danica, but both of those have the backing of big teams. It's no big deal for a big team to build a car to ARCA specifications (which is where all new drivers from other disciplines should start). They're just old NASCARs.

Many skip the trucks but I think it's no big deal to find sponsorship or pay to run a partial season in trucks--Narain Karthikeyan and Nelson Piquet, Jr did this (Piquet is still doing). Basically I think you just bring sponsorship/buy a ride in a midgrid team in Trucks. I think for a guy of Kimi's standing, sponsorship for that is trivial.

Nationwide it gets more expensive and tricky, and Sprint Cup, impossible to be serious and competitive on your own initially or even ever unless you become a satellite to one of the bigger teams. The example being T-Stew and Stewart-Haas racing, they are a satellite of Hendrick, and no surprise, they run as well as Hendrick.

I think the challenge of having Ice-One racing come in and be competitive at any level is an even bigger challenge than Kimi being a competitive driver in NASCAR.

I think we will see sponsors lining up to have him race a limited schedule in Trucks and even Nationwide, especially on the road courses. But that's with Kimi bringing sponsors to an established team. But for him to think he can start his own NASCAR team, even in trucks, and be competitive? Especially with him as the driver? I think that's not practical at all.

#29 ivanalesi

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:16

Kimi has gone totally nuts... WRC even in the current form is more excitement than NASCAR from the driving point of view. Kimi & racing on ovals... nobody could have predicted this! It's exciting to watch on TV, but I don't get it how it's exciting for driving these dogs...

#30 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:17

Another article about Gillett's alleged financial malfeasance:

http://nascar.speedt...george-gillett/

BTW, related articles are also linked there.




#31 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:17

It's arguably even more fun in the car.

#32 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:20

I keep checking the major US websites and NASCAR.com nor ESPN have picked up the story, though it's on autosport.com:

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/90331

The more I dig up research on this Gillett guy though, the less likely I think it is to happen, or if it does, it will be a disaster.

#33 SimMaker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:21

I can't see anything exciting in Nascar.. Do you even need brakes..


Imagine.

Doing nearly 240mph.......in a multi ton slab, with no brakes....

Awesome. Its called Stock Car racing. :)

#34 gd2

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:22

My frst thought was how is Kimi going to cope with all the interaction with the fans!!

Edited by gd2, 29 March 2011 - 16:22.


#35 artista

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:23

I keep checking the major US websites and NASCAR.com nor ESPN have picked up the story, though it's on autosport.com:

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/90331

The more I dig up research on this Gillett guy though, the less likely I think it is to happen, or if it does, it will be a disaster.

:cry: (thanks for the information, BTW)

#36 FNG

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:24

This makes zero sense to me. Time and time again he refused the F1 offers ( and there were a few by all accounts) because he wanted to do Rally. Now all of a sudden he is going to do Nascar which won't help is Rally efforts. I simply don't get this move. He could go back to F1 and be competitive but he chooses to go to Nascar where he will flounder around like Montoya and have to do more commercial work. This is odd to say the least. Oh well, one less driver to follow now. Fool

#37 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:27

Now all of a sudden he is going to do Nascar ... where he will flounder around like Montoya...


Eh?

#38 DarthRonzo

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:27

It must joking day in Finland :confused:

#39 GSiebert

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:29

Imagine.

Doing nearly 240mph.......in a multi ton slab, with no brakes....

Awesome. Its called Stock Car racing. :)


Well they certainly dont reach 240mph, more like 210.

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#40 SennaHolic

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:32

Who would've thought we'll be watching Kimi and Piquet Jr. racing trucks!!

#41 Desdirodeabike

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:40

This makes zero sense to me. Time and time again he refused the F1 offers ( and there were a few by all accounts) because he wanted to do Rally. Now all of a sudden he is going to do Nascar which won't help is Rally efforts. I simply don't get this move. He could go back to F1 and be competitive but he chooses to go to Nascar where he will flounder around like Montoya and have to do more commercial work. This is odd to say the least. Oh well, one less driver to follow now. Fool

You dont seem to get it. He is NOT switching his focus from rally. But the rally calendar leaves a vast amount of dead time for someone like Kimi. You cant jump in and out of F1 for a couple of races, with NASCAR you can easily do that. Say a dozen races during one season while still doing all the rallies should be no problem.
He is racing on tarmac again and its live. Whats not to love? The way I see it its for fun and a way to further finance his rally career. Godspeed Kimi :up:

#42 maximilian

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:46

Disappointing announcement. I was never a Kimi fan, but I WOULD have been excited if he instead decided to enter IndyCar with his own team instead, which seems like a much better fit to me (including running at the $5 Mil Las Vegas thingy later this year). Now, he just becomes another face lost in the NASCAR crowd never to be seen again, a la so many other ex-open wheelers.

I had to check the date first when I saw the announcement (thought maybe it's already April 1)!

Edited by maximilian, 29 March 2011 - 16:48.


#43 jeze

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:49

The Gillett family are criminals, nearly making Liverpool go into bankrupcy for stealing money from the club.

Wrong guy Kimi, keep your bank account in check :drunk:

#44 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:51

The Gillett family are criminals, nearly making Liverpool go into bankrupcy for stealing money from the club.

Wrong guy Kimi, keep your bank account in check :drunk:

I purposely left out the references to other professional sports (they were involved in NHL Hockey as well) but yes indeed their track record is not good in ANY sport.

#45 artista

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:55

The Gillett family are criminals, nearly making Liverpool go into bankrupcy for stealing money from the club.

Wrong guy Kimi, keep your bank account in check :drunk:



I purposely left out the references to other professional sports (they were involved in NHL Hockey as well) but yes indeed their track record is not good in ANY sport.


You guys are making me nervous! :(

#46 SimMaker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 16:57

Well they certainly dont reach 240mph, more like 210.


Soz.

I am new to oval racing in the past few years. Getting them confused with the Indycars.

What I am loving about NASCAR, is the multiple racing lines you can get on a lot of ovals. It is fascinating seeing competing lines being driven flat out. And watching these things on road courses is a blast. But I prefer the ovals myself.

I member taking my first NASCAR car out on a simulator, it was a medium size oval, slowly built some speed up, then got good speed on SF straight. As I approached turn one, I put in a dab of brakes as one might do in a open wheeler....only to go sailing in to the wall almost without losing any speed before doing so. They seem to be quite the challange to drive.

With the snobery shown on here at times, one would expect any F1 driver to just walk in and win it all if it is so easy. Yet former F1 champ and drivers JV and JPM have had their struggles.

Will be fun seeing Kimi have a crack at it.

#47 UPRC

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 17:00

Still three days until April 1?

This is just too weird. Kimi in stock cars? The thought of it melts my brain.

#48 CoolFiltered

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 17:05

I keep checking the major US websites and NASCAR.com nor ESPN have picked up the story, though it's on autosport.com:

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/90331

The more I dig up research on this Gillett guy though, the less likely I think it is to happen, or if it does, it will be a disaster.




Thanks, A colourful character by the looks of things, and one who's past "performances" can surely not have been overlooked by Kimi and his management, who, whatever anyone might say about them, are certainly not mugs when it comes to financial delaings. Thats not to say that anyone who has dealt with Mr Gillett in the past have been mugs.

An interesting development though, and one that i amongst many wouldn't have forseen, i dont think i've ever watched more than 5 minutes of Nascar, not because i dislike it, i've just never developed an interest in it.

#49 Bunchies

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 17:05

its a legit point

lot of tracks they just roll off throttle


It's not a legitimate point when he obviously posted it to rile shit up. At some point the "benefit of the doubt" needs to stop being given and common sense needs to be shown. Like come on.

No, they don't use brakes in nascar. They're not even fitted on the hubs. That's 100% fact.

#50 TurboKeb

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 17:07

I purposely left out the references to other professional sports (they were involved in NHL Hockey as well) but yes indeed their track record is not good in ANY sport.


Allow me to add precisions... The Gillet family bought the Canadiens for under 200M$ and sold it to the Molson family for about 600M$, about 2 years ago.
The club (on the ice) was dead when he bought it, but now, it is competitive. Their track record isn't bad for turning the "alpha" franchise around in NHL.

Enough (slightly) off-topic, good news for Kimi, he would've had nothing to do in F1 anyways. People often think that Damon should have retired sooner, but Raikkonen did it while on top; something I think is very wise to do. He now seems to be racing for fun, trying new toys, he does a boy's dream job! :up: :clap:

Edited by TurboKeb, 30 March 2011 - 01:22.