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Kimi Raikkonen runs in Nationwide practice

It all seemed set, and Kimi Raikkonen's name duly appeared on the official entry list as the driver of the #87 for this weekend's Top Gear 300 race at Charlotte. The only thing that wasn't confirmed, it seemed, was the driver - at least according to to Todd Hirschfeld, Kimi's US-series manager. "There's a car and team ready to go, but Kimi himself has not yet committed," he had said on Tuesday. "It's up to Kimi whether he ... heads back to Finland or stays to run the Nationwide race Saturday at Charlotte."

Kimi seemed to enjoy stringing the world's media along for a few days more, but when it got to Thursday morning the moment of truth had finally come and he had to decide whether to face the pre-event press conference and and confirm he was running or not.

Turned out he was.




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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]
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Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Comcast Business Toyota, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 AXE Chevrolet, goes through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the # 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, won the Pole Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Joining Busch on the front row will be Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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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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