NASCAR »

A brief history of F1 drivers in Trucks

With all the media hype about Kimi Raikkonen's arrival in NASCAR Camping World Truck series, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was unprecedented. But that's not entirely accurate.
Kimi Raikkonen's not the first former F1 driver or even former world champion to try his hand at the NASCAR Camping World Truck series.

While most media stories have been comparing Raikkonen's arrival with that of his former McLaren team mate Juan Montoya's move to NASCAR at the end of 2006, the Colombian actually dived straight into the Sprint Cup championship and never tried his hand at Trucks. However, other F1 alumni have opted to take the Trucks route over the years.

Back in 2007, Jacques Villeneuve - world champion ten years previously with Williams - debuted in the Truck Series at Las Vegas. He finished 21st, and went on to compete in seven races as a planned prelude to moving to the Sprint Cup series (then called the Nextel Cup). However, after only two races in the top series, Villeneuve's sponsorship evaporated and he made only one further appearance, at Road America in 2010, as well as six appearances over three seasons in Nationwide races.

But Raikkonen will be making one small entry in the history books: in those seven appearances, Villeneuve never competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway - so Kimi will be the first former F1 world champion to take to the stage on the 1.5 mile quad-oval.

The earliest F1 transferee to NASCAR Trucks was Chilean former March driver Eliseo Salazar, who finished 17th in his sole outing in the series at Watkins Glen International in 1997.

Max Papis (Footwork) finished 29th when he debuted at the Truck series race in Texas in 2008, while Narain Karthikeyan (Jordan, Hispania) finished 13th in his series debut at Martinsville in 2010.

Scott Speed (Toro Rosso) finished 27th on his Truck debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2008, and became the only former F1 driver to have won a Truck series race when he took the chequered flag at Dover International Speedway in May of the same year.

Nelson Piquet Jr. (Renault) debuted at Daytona in 2010 and is the only one of the ex-F1 racers to secure a top ten finish on his debut, finishing in sixth place. Piquet Jr. recently took a second place finish last month at Nashville and is a current contender for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

Along with Piquet Jr. and Papis, Kimi Raikkonen will be bidding to make Friday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway the first time that three ex-F1 drivers have ever appeared in the same Truck series race together.

It might not be writing history on the same scale as his 2007 world title, but it's still a notable entry in the record books nonetheless.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jacques Villeneuve - Unicef/BDR Toyota Tundra   [pic credit: image.net]
Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve at Texas Motor Speedway during his 2007 season with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. [Picture credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Nelson Piquet Jr. at his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Daytona on 13 February, 2010 [Picture credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, races Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, waves to fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Greg Ives, celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Sponge Bob Square Pants Ford, wreck during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Allmendinger is 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Banburyhammer - Unregistered

May 20, 2011 11:44 PM

Didnt Jim Clark enter a NASCAR race for fun back in the late 60's? I recall he was running in the top ten ten until the enginie blew up. Typical Clark, he got in and instantly went fast in it.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.