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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

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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]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 6, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Toyota, leads Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins. (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with his wife, Chandra and daughters Genevieve and Lydia Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, crosses the finish line for the victory Sunday, February 28, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. This was Johnson`s 76th career win, 5th in Atlanta. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished second. The victory ties Johnson with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in NASCAR premier series wins. (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Toyota, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS drives to victory Thursday, February 18, 2016 winning the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Can-Am Duel races at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. This is Earnhardt Jr.`s second consecutive Duel victory. He will start on the inside of Row 2 for Sunday`s Daytona 500 race. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett for Chevy Racing)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Chevrolet, races Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, during practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #44 Albertsons Co./Shore Lodge Ford, talks to team owner Richard Petty in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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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.



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