When Kimi Raikkonen paid $100,000 to Kyle Busch in order to race in NASCAR
|Sun Aug 14 2022
Kimi Raikkonen had agreed a deal with Kyle Busch and had paid $100,000 to race in NASCAR Truck series after his hiatus from F1.
2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen retired from the sport in 2021. He was one of the most loved drivers in the F1 grid for his carefree attitude.
Recently it was announced that the Finn will be returning to racing and will come out of retirement. But sadly, it wont be in F1 but NASCAR.
The Former F1 champion is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut with Trackhouse Racing at Watkins Glen on August 21. He will feature in a race for the first time since 2021 Abu Dhabi where he signed off his F1 career.
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) August 11, 2022
Kimi will be the first driver for PROJECT91, the third Trackhouse Racing car that Marks wants to use for international racers interested in NASCAR. He has been testing the Next Gen car at Virginia International Raceway.
“The team has done a great job, really nice people all around, it’s been fun to be in the car,” he added after testing the car in Virginia recently. But this would not be his first outing in NASCAR for the Finn.
When Kimi raced with Kyle Busch in 2011
After the 2010 season, Kimi Raikonnen was told by Ferrari that they would not be renewing his contract with the team. He was replaced by 2-time World Champion Fernando Alonso.
The Finnish driver took a hiatus from F! after he did not get suitable offers from other teams on the F1 grid. And he turned to Rallying and NASCAR to keep himself occupied.
And in 2011, Raikonnen was reported to have struck a deal to race in NASCAR. there were rumors that Raikkonen would make his truck debut with his own ICE1 Racing team. But this fell through.
May 28, 2011: Kimi Raikkonen ran in his final NASCAR race, the Nationwide Series race at Charlotte. Raikkonen drove a Kyle Busch car and ran in the top-20 for the first half but fell back to 27th at the finish. pic.twitter.com/GacDTVKfDt
— nascarman (@nascarman_rr) May 28, 2021
Raikkonen later agreed with Kyle Busch, owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports to race his trucks. But the Finn agreed to feature in limited races with a $100,000 price tag.
Mr. Busch was unaware of who Raikonnen was. Busch said “Raikkonen shopped around for a drive with a number of teams and we won the war.” Raikonnen was however interested in getting an entry for the Cup race.
In 2011, Raikkonen made his Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series debut. He for Kyle Busch in both at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Raikkonen finished 15th in the Xfinity Series race and 27th in the Truck Series race the following weekend.
Kimi would return to F1 in 2012 after ‘shopping’ around for a bit. And all eyes will be on the Iceman as he debuts in the Americas for another time!