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 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, poses in Victory Lane with the trophy after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Gray Gaulding, driver of the #20 Gemini Southern / Krispy Kreme Chevrolet, is involved in an on track incident with Brandon Jones, driver of the #33 EXIDE Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 Toyota No. 1 For Everyone Sales Event Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton ready for racing at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton in action at Daytona International Speedway on 14 January 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS races to a third-place finish Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS won the race and Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished second. (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller 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 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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