Ikyrotz

Kimi To Nascar

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That made me laugh. Kudos to Eric for having predicted this for a long time.

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I too thought this sounded like some kind of April Fools' joke. Never thought Kimi would move to American racing but it'll be good to see him driving another type of car. So Eric, what are his chances of success (based on who he's entering with and such)?

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There's been some funny tweets about this. This one made me laugh:

Kimi Raikkonen is going to NASCAR? Apparently they have 350 flavours of ice cream in the US. #notacoincidence

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I'm both excited and sad about the news. Being an American and a fan of racing I do watch NASCAR and even though it's not my favorite it is still racing. Starting a new team is hard without the proper funding in any form of motorsport. Gillett isn't thought of too highly by most NASCAR fans I'd imagine. From this outsiders view, NASCAR was a hobby for Gillett and unless he's committed the outcome of this team will not be any different than his failed attempt after taking over Ray Evernham's team. I'm hopefull for Kimi but would be more positive if he were joining an established team such as KHI, Gibbs, Roush or Hendrick. I will be rooting for him however, as I do whenever an F1 star graces my country's number one racing series with his racing skill.

~ribbit

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That made me laugh. Kudos to Eric for having predicted this for a long time.

Kudos to my contacts (that's in no way intended as bragging; if you knew how easy it is to make contacts in NASCAR...) in NASCAR, really, for tipping me off to Kimi's efforts to go to NASCAR. The rest was just Googling.

I too thought this sounded like some kind of April Fools' joke. Never thought Kimi would move to American racing but it'll be good to see him driving another type of car. So Eric, what are his chances of success (based on who he's entering with and such)?

His chance of success, to be blunt, is pretty close to zero. The cars are ridiculously different, obviously, and the amount of experience it takes to drive them is staggeringly high. What Kimi appears to be doing is the equivalent of a NASCAR driver running a few races in WSR, and then a few in GP2, and then a few in F1. Sure, a talented driver, but skipping so much hurts. NASCAR drivers, like F1 drivers, begin their careers between ages 4 and 9 (I started racing when I was 10, so my dreams of racing in NASCAR were never going to come true :P). It's a hard transition to make. A good baseball player won't be good in hockey; both are sports that require a lot of the same things, but there's just a huge deal of difference in the details.

I think it will be easier to evaluate when the extent of his plans are announced. If he has one foot in the door, he'll fail. They all do. If he actually goes and does full seasons (plural) in Camping World Truck, and then Nationwide, and then goes to Cup (and isn't afraid to run lowly ARCA and K&N Pro races at tracks he just doesn't know during his first year or so running CWTS), he stands a chance at it.

It's a tough battle and it can't be a hobby or an experiment. He'll be fun on the road courses, I'm sure, but the ovals...either you're all-in or in-the-wall. I will say his talent level is on the high-end, though.

Equipment-wise, which I think is more what you were asking, it's tough to say. He's forming a new team, which is obviously difficult, and Gillett's first go into NASCAR ended badly. I'll try to figure out what Trucks they're trying to buy. The Truck Series has a really weak field (so does the Nationwide Series), so if he gets a Truck that's even two years old, he could still be in alright shape. Gillett just needs to make sure he actually pays his bills...

I'm both excited and sad about the news. Being an American and a fan of racing I do watch NASCAR and even though it's not my favorite it is still racing. Starting a new team is hard without the proper funding in any form of motorsport. Gillett isn't thought of too highly by most NASCAR fans I'd imagine. From this outsiders view, NASCAR was a hobby for Gillett and unless he's committed the outcome of this team will not be any different than his failed attempt after taking over Ray Evernham's team. I'm hopefull for Kimi but would be more positive if he were joining an established team such as KHI, Gibbs, Roush or Hendrick. I will be rooting for him however, as I do whenever an F1 star graces my country's number one racing series with his racing skill.

~ribbit

You imagine correctly. The Gilletts aren't well-liked in NASCAR. George was really the face of it all, though, and less-so Foster, but still, he was part of it. They screwed a lot of people over, and in a contact sport, respect is everything. Kimi very well could suffer from that; a lot of guys will give him a hard time just for being the new guy, and when you consider his owner, well, all the more incentive to rough him up a bit.

As for getting with the good teams, well, he can. If he brings money. I'm not sure he's going to have an easy time getting sponsors in the U.S.A.

It will be interesting to see, for sure. Montoya did it all wrong and got it together eventually, so there's hope for Kimi, especially if he actually does this properly.

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Thanks Eric, much appreciated! I'll be interested to see how he does, might even check out a NASCAR race or two once he gets a bit of experience.

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IMO if anyone can do this (jumping from different racing series) Its Kimi (and Leob)

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IMO if anyone can do this (jumping from different racing series) Its Kimi (and Leob)

NASCAR is for girls!mf_tongue.gif

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The JPM factor can't be dismissed in all this. Kimi will have someone whose been a team mate in the past, and thus can relay to Kimi probably more effectively than anyone else, the finer points and things to work on for driving in Nascar races. I have no illusions Kimi will win anything, but I hope it's going to be a fun ride all the same. If Ambrose was able to win a few street races, whose to say Kimi can't do the same if he's still doing this in a few years. Ovals, no way, there's simply too much to learn over many years.

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Damn skippy!

51y75ePeQyL.jpg

Nice oneclap3.gif

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Citroen doesn't want to make a crash test every WRX race! So decided to hire Kimi to Nascar to check out how strong the cars are!

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Räikkönen has requested and received approval to run the Charlotte Camping World Truck Series race in May. So that's where he'll debut, and it shows the tremendous amount of respect NASCAR has for a driver like him. It's really, really rare that NASCAR will approve someone to debut on a speedway; usually, you have to run some short track races, unless you have speedway experience in lower series (i.e. ARCA). Narain Karthikeyan, for example, had to run short tracks first (the short tracks are arguably the toughest, but with lower speeds, it's less dangerous for a new driver).

As a track, it's not the easiest place to debut, but it is very in-line with a standard NASCAR track (there is so much variety among ovals that I think is hard to realize if you don't pay much attention to that style of racing; still, the 1.5-mile tri- or quad-oval is more prevalent recently). It's a very fast track with 24 degrees of banking in the corners. You can see the track here and here. It may not look like much, but trying to keep a 3400-lb stock car as-close-to-flat-out through those corners takes a lot of understanding of the track and the cars. These tracks have been fairly problematic for many open-wheel converts; oddly enough, Montoya took to them well from the start and now that he's in good equipment, he regularly runs well at similar tracks.

The Truck race at Charlotte often turns into a bit of a race of survival, though, so if Kimi can keep it clean, he might get a good finish out of it. Race will be televised in the United States on SPEED on May 20, 2011, at 8:00 PM GMT -5; I will link anyone to a live, free, download-free stream of the race who would like to see it when we get closer to the actual race date.

The JPM factor can't be dismissed in all this. Kimi will have someone whose been a team mate in the past, and thus can relay to Kimi probably more effectively than anyone else, the finer points and things to work on for driving in Nascar races. I have no illusions Kimi will win anything, but I hope it's going to be a fun ride all the same. If Ambrose was able to win a few street races, whose to say Kimi can't do the same if he's still doing this in a few years. Ovals, no way, there's simply too much to learn over many years.

I am a Montoya fan, for sure, but I think the best advice he could have for Räikkönen, based on his own NASCAR career: have the best engines on the grid. The Earnhardt-Childress engines are the ones to have, and prior to that alliance, Montoya was no where. He got better with experience, no denying it, but it cannot be overlooked that he went from running a crappy Ganassi Dodge to a well-powered Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet. All that aside, though, good equipment's just part of the game, and the things I've seen Montoya do in CART, NASCAR, Grand-Am, and even a little in F1 (because I missed most of his career) often have little to do with the car. He's one of this era's greatest racing drivers, period.

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Räikkönen has requested and received approval to run the Charlotte Camping World Truck Series race in May. So that's where he'll debut, and it shows the tremendous amount of respect NASCAR has for a driver like him. It's really, really rare that NASCAR will approve someone to debut on a speedway; usually, you have to run some short track races, unless you have speedway experience in lower series (i.e. ARCA). Narain Karthikeyan, for example, had to run short tracks first (the short tracks are arguably the toughest, but with lower speeds, it's less dangerous for a new driver).

As a track, it's not the easiest place to debut, but it is very in-line with a standard NASCAR track (there is so much variety among ovals that I think is hard to realize if you don't pay much attention to that style of racing; still, the 1.5-mile tri- or quad-oval is more prevalent recently). It's a very fast track with 24 degrees of banking in the corners. You can see the track here and here. It may not look like much, but trying to keep a 3400-lb stock car as-close-to-flat-out through those corners takes a lot of understanding of the track and the cars. These tracks have been fairly problematic for many open-wheel converts; oddly enough, Montoya took to them well from the start and now that he's in good equipment, he regularly runs well at similar tracks.

The Truck race at Charlotte often turns into a bit of a race of survival, though, so if Kimi can keep it clean, he might get a good finish out of it. Race will be televised in the United States on SPEED on May 20, 2011, at 8:00 PM GMT -5; I will link anyone to a live, free, download-free stream of the race who would like to see it when we get closer to the actual race date.

my god, is Kimi going to survive that debut on a flippin speedway??? I'm as tense as a.....

please link oh Eric from yonder

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Kyle Busch Motorsports has won 10 races and scored 19 top fives, 24 top tens, and 6 poles in just 35 races since its formation. The bulk of those statistics come from Kyle Busch, of course, but it's still good equipment. The only driver to ever not score a top ten with KBM has been Tayler Malsam, who ultimately lacks talent.

Räikkönen's chances are definitely enhanced by having a KBM truck over starting his own team with the shady Gillett family's "assistance."

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I'm greatly relieved to see Kimi signing with KBM instead of some Gillett involved team. KBM has the people in place and the equipment to give him a fair shake at this NASCAR thing. I wouldn't go annointing him the 2012 truck champ or anything and comparing him to Kyle Busch as teammates won't be a good idea but I am way more positive today (i just found out) than I was initially.

~Ribbit

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