Don’t adjust your computer screen, the Kimi Raikkonen rumor to race in NASCAR is not an early April Fools’ prank.
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Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion, has made sincere inquiries with several teams. According to those familiar with the situation, Raikkonen would run in the Camping World Truck Series with aspirations of competing in Sprint Cup by the end of the season.
On Tuesday, news broke from Turun Sanomat in Finland that Raikkonen would make his stock car debut this summer and continue racing World Rally Championship cars as well. The story mentioned a partnership with former NASCAR team owner Foster Gillett in a collaboration named ICE1 Racing.
Gillett accompanied Raikkonen at Homestead last November before his family parted ways with Richard Petty Motorsports. One owner who had been approached by the team said he was offered $450,000 per race for five races including Martinsville, Daytona, Homestead and both road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen).
NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell confirmed on Twitter Tuesday evening that Raikkonen “has definitely sent in app to drive” but car and ownership details were “unknown." While there have been inquiries to many teams, sources say discussions have yet to reach the manufacturer level.
Raikkonen, 31, competed in F1 from 2001 to 2009. He posted 18 victories and 62 podium appearances.