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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
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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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)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/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)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS gets the chequered flag as he crosses the finish line Sunday, March 30, 2014, winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Chevrolet finished first, second and third in the race. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS celebrates Sunday, March 30, 2014 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Chevrolet finished first, second and third in the race. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, applies the winner sticker in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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