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Kimi Raikkonen runs in Nationwide practice

After several days of refusing to confirm or deny whether he would make his Nationwide Series début this weekend, Kimi finally breaks his silence - and hits the track.
Ever since his successful début in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last week, Kimi Raikkonen has been teasing everyone with a "will he, won't he" try Nationwide this weekend. Finally, on Thursday morning, the time for a definite answer came.

In truth there wasn't really much doubt at this point, and in a six minute press appearance Kimi appeared, decked out in his black Perky Jerky T-shirt and shorts and his backwards-facing Red Bull baseball cap, to confirm exactly what everyone was expecting

"The Nationwide: we are here, so what's the most easiest thing to get more experience?" he said. "It was the easiest thing for me to do."

Nationwide will be a totally new deal for Kimi. As in, totally new. He's never tried running in one, even under test conditions, compared to the three test days he'd had in a NASCAR Truck prior to taking to the track for the first practice sessions at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon.

The 80 minute sessions went well for the Finn, with the #87 finishing practice 1 in 16th position, and following that up with 18th in the later session. (See full practice times and positions here.)

Raikkonen's run attracted the attention of Sprint Cup championship leader Carl Edwards: ""Who is that in the 87? ... He is loose," Edwards said. "He was driving the wheels off it. I was just surprised. I didn't know who was in that car. Had no clue. Then I saw Perky Jerky on it. He definitely has some car control for sure. That's not lip service."

Raikkonen's hoping that at least having had a basic introduction to how a NASCAR meet goes, together with some knowledge of the track - Charlotte being the venue for both last week's Truck race and this week's Nationwide event - will compensate.

"At least I know the circuit and how the weekend goes," he said, sounding somewhat confident, adding that other drivers had told him that there was "not an awful difference" between Trucks and Nationwide cars.

That would probably make the 2010 Nationwide Series champion champion choke if he'd been in the room to hear it.

"Charlotte's probably the last place I'd pick to make my Nationwide début," said Brad Keselowski, saying that he thought the Finn should run a dozen or more Truck races before even considering the move up. "It sounds cheesy, but the number one thing is to make sure you run all the laps ... There's no substitute for track time."




Related Pictures

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Kimi Raikkonen, driver of the #15 Perky Jerky Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20 in Charlotte, N.C. [Picture credit: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen talks with car owner and fellow driver Joe Nemechek during practice as Raikkonen prepares to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Raikkonen`s fastest lap in the No. 87 was his 19th lap with a time of 31.241 seconds. [Picture credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #09 Stanley Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #09 Stanley Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #09 Stanley Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The #28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge, driven by JJ Yeley, is seen after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, leads the field during the start of the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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ZeppoM - Unregistered

May 28, 2011 11:24 AM

But he is committed. He is committed to WRC this year. He is not driving in Argentina where WRC is now because of cost (he is not driving for Citroen's factory team). If he were he wouldn't be in Charlotte. He has no exact plans for year 2012. It could be staying in WRC or returning to F1 or maybe NASCAR. So he is interested in NASCAR and wants to try how it feels. Originally he made a deal for 3 maybe 5 Truck races. Now he probably has used the budget for first 3 races in 1 Truck and 1 Nationwide race and smashing Gordon's Cup car. He had a change to try different NASCAR cars and he took it. What's wrong about that. According Autosport he already could have made a NASCAR deal for 2012 but he didn't. At last March he said NASCAR is a very tough and a top racing series. So he wants to first see if he is any good at it before making decisions. I hope he gets a car and sponsors to try in Sonoma.

Marybeth - Unregistered

May 27, 2011 1:46 AM

Kimi's crew chief, Rick Ren, also his cc last weekend in the truck race, said that he is impressed with Kimi's from last week to this week. When asked by a reporter, Bob Dillner I believe, what he had learned from last weekend to this weekend, Kimi said, 'to know how the weekend works'. Things are coming along. :)



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