Formula One seems to have developed something of an interest in NASCAR in recent days, following the revelation that Jarno Trulli is to join disgraced former Renault pilot Nelson Piquet Jr and 1990s stalwart Mika Salo in testing stateside.
The Italian has lined up a two-day session alongside Salo, running with Michael Waltrip Racing in Florida next month, while Piquet is due to join Camping World Truck Series team Red Horse Racing for an exploratory outing with a view to making stock cars a possible line of future employment.
Unlike his peers, however, Trulli insists that he has no intention of making the switch to the USA just yet, believing that, despite his role with the Toyota F1 team being in doubt at the end of 2009, he still has more to offer to the top flight.
"Last year, I had the chance to visit a NASCAR race at Michigan, which was a really interesting experience for me," the Italian said in a statement issued to counter speculation surrounding the test, "NASCAR is one of the most significant motorsport series in the world and I was very curious to see the racing first hand.
"At the time, I asked the Toyota guys in the US if it would be possible to one day test a car just for fun and, before the Belgian Grand Prix, they offered me the chance to do so later in the year."
Amid speculation that he will not be retained by Toyota, the 35-year old is currently being linked with the four new teams expected to line up on the F1 grid in 2010, and responded to questions about his future with the Cologne team by admitting that he was 'racing for Toyota and
racing for myself' over the remaining two races of the season.
"My commitment is 100 per cent to F1," he added.
Salo, meanwhile, has admitted that he is eyeing a move to NASCAR having won titles in the American Le Mans Series, targeting the second tier Nationwide Series for 2010. MWR vice-president Cal Wells has confirmed that the Finn is keen to make the switch, and that the test will effectively be an audition for the former Ferrari, Tyrrell, Lotus, BAR and Arrows pilot.
"We're serious about the test, we're not going to jack around," Wells told FOXSports
, "It's a real deal, but I'm not sure what it's going to turn into. It depends on what is real. It depends on what we can afford to do. We don't have a sponsor here saying 'let's go get a Finnish driver', but I think, after a proper evaluation, if he can go to Finnish companies that would support him in the US, then that would be wonderful. It's not like we're searching for the next racer. It's a low key thing. We're not trying to make a big deal out of it."