Kyle Busch says money not an issue with Raikkonen
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP)
Kyle Busch dispelled the notion that a lack of funding played a role in Kimi Raikkonen's brief stint with the NASCAR star's racing team.
But Busch couldn't clarify the former Formula One champion's future in NASCAR or with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Busch said Friday before practice at Kansas Speedway, site of Sunday's Sprint Cup race, that money wasn't an issue with the Finn, who signed a deal with Kyle Busch Motorsports in April to run three to five Trucks Series races.
Raikkonen ran one Trucks race, then decided to run the Nationwide event last week in Charlotte, finishing four laps down in 27th.
''They paid for the Truck races, but then he said, 'OK, let's do a Nationwide race.' So, we took those funds from the end of the year and put them to that Nationwide race. So, they are paid in full for the races they've run,'' Busch said.
Busch said he hasn't discussed future NASCAR plans with the Finn, though he's open to talking with Raikkonen about running more Trucks or Nationwide races, mentioning venues such as Atlanta, Martinsville and Homestead.
''I like Kimi. I liked working with him and talking with him and developing a little bit of a relationship there,'' Busch said. ''I feel like he had a good time while here and working with us.''
Raikkonen spent nine years in Formula One, driving for Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari. He had 18 wins and won the 2007 championship, and his decision to give NASCAR a go created buzz around the circuit.
He is currently racing for the World Rally Car Championship with his own team, ICE 1 Racing, but is not scheduled to compete in that series again until later this month in Greece.
''He's got Rally and other stuff that he's worried about. We're not mad whatsoever. We knew things would change so that's why contracts are always kind of weirded out anyway,'' Busch said.