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Rookie Raikkonen: out onto the NASCAR stage

"He'll go over to the NASCAR R&D centre and sit down there with those guys and kind of get an explanation of the driver's meeting. He'll get the long version, the one that tells you all about double file [restarts], passing the pace car on the wave-around ... He'll get the long version of that just so he can get the idea of how that works," said Kyle. "Other than that, that's pretty much it."

In ascending order, Kimi's aims today are first to qualify; then, to qualify in the top half of the field; and then to run to the end of the full race distance of 200 miles. "If he's on the lead lap [at the end], that will be an amazing result for Kimi," agreed Karthikeyan. "He shouldn't get wrecked - that's the biggest thing."

Karthikeyan himself finished 13th in his series debut at Martinsville in 2010, while the best debut result recorded by an F1 alumni in Trucks was sixth place at Daytona in 2010 for Nelson Piquet Jr., who will be competing against Busch at Charlotte this week along with another old face from the F1 paddock, Max Papis - albeit from quite a bit before Kimi's time.

Narain Karthikeyan won't be there - he's back in Barcelona, putting the Hispania F1 car through its paces in preparation for the Spanish Grand Prix. While he clearly feels he himself still belongs more in F1, he thinks that for Kimi Raikkonen NASCAR could be a very good move and that he'll find the atmosphere better than the stuffy, uptight corporate world that drove him out of F1: "It's so relaxed and it's a lot of fun. He will enjoy it for sure."

And at the moment, isn't that what it's all about for Raikkonen - finding something new in motorsport that he can enjoy for years to come? It seems that the Finn just wants to have fun.

Camping World Trucks Series schedule - Friday, May 20

  • 09.00 ET / 14.00 BST - Practice 1

  • 10.20 ET / 15.20 BST - Practice 2

  • 16.00 ET / 21.00 BST - Qualifying

  • 20.00 ET / 01.00 BST - NC Education Lottery 200 race


The race will be shown live and free-to-air on Sky channel 433 by Premium Sports TV from 1am on Saturday morning; the channel is not available on any other broadcast platform in the UK.




Related Pictures

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Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen DS3 WRC, ICE 1 Racing
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen DS3 WRC, ICE 1 Racing
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
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