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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]
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Fisher Nuts/Menards Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy, driver of the #11 Local Motors Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, and Landon Cassill, driver of the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet, race three-wide during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, Carlos Contreras, driver of the #15 BurnieGrill/BubbaGrill/LillyTrucking Chevrolet, Landon Cassill, driver of the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet, and Blake Koch, driver of the #8 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem/Gemaire Chevrolet, and Travis Kvapil, driver of the #94 Chargebacks 911 Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
An on track-incident collects a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Racing during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via 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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