Kimi Raikkonen is set to make his NASCAR debut after tending his driver application and resumé to the sanctioning body.
The former F1 champion, now competing in the World Rally Championship, has received approval to compete in the N.C Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on 20 May according to NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp.
The news comes on the back of reports in Raikkonen's homeland suggesting that the Finn is set to take his ICE1 Racing team to the States to compete in NASCAR with Foster Gillett – former boss of Richard Petty Motorsport – as a financial partner.
As yet, there has been no official word on the make-up of Raikkonen's team for the Truck Series race, although all the indications are that it will be in a machine owned by Gillett.
While there is no doubt that Raikkonen would be an interesting addition to the NASCAR field, it is reports of a partnership with Gillett that has raised eyebrows given his family's recent history within the sport.
Ray Evernham recently sued two companies owned by George Gillett for $19.2 million Evernham alleges is owed from the original sale of majority interest in Evernham Motorsports to Gillett.
Evernham has been quoted in the USA as saying that it would be a 'joke' for Gillett to have new involvement in the sport given the money people are still owed and said he 'can't imagine anyone doing business with (Gillett) considering the past history'.
Gillett walked away from a reported $90 million loan from Wachovia/Wells Fargo that was used to purchase Evernham Motorsports, which became RPM after a merger with Petty Holdings.
Investors Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron bought the loan for pennies on the dollar ($11 million, according to a Forbes report), and after Richard Petty made a substantial investment of his own, the company returned to solvency.
Petty barely escaped having his name and reputation permanently sullied through association with the Gillett family.
Additional reporting by Sporting News Wire Service