Five-time AMA Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael will swap two-wheels for four this Friday when he makes his debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona.
Carmichael will drive the #4 Chevrolet Silverado entered by Kevin Harvick Inc. and is slated to take part in at least 14 of the 25 races over the course of the year.
While his total of 15 championships on two-wheels beats any other rider in AMA history, his move into the NASCAR arena will throw up its own new challenges and he admitted that it would be vastly different to what he is used to.
“Car racing challenges me much differently than a motorcycle race,” he said. “Normally in moto, I would just have to concentrate on one thing and work on it to be better than my competitor during a race situation. In cars I have to deal with many things - lack of seat time, car set-up being so new to me. Every time I race or test, I learn something that betters me and that's what I like about it.
“Car racing is so new to me that when I am at a race or in the car, it has my attention all the time. When I was racing motocross I could move around a lot more. I'm not sure if it (NASCAR) takes so much more mental concentration because it's new or if that's just the character of racing cars because of the speeds and how close you are together.”
Carmichael added that his age and safety were factors in his decision to jump to NASCAR after retiring from two-wheeled competition.
“It [NASCAR] is something you can do for a long time and I knew I was getting to the end of the road in motorcycle racing and this was the only other racing I wanted to do seriously if given the chance,” he said. “Also, I really like what the sport is all about. I like the safety features and at the same time, the speeds, a lot better from where I came from when the protection was limited, unfortunately.”