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Raikkonen and Busch to part ways?

Kyle Busch may have been looking at Kimi Raikkonen as a way of expanding the Truck Series team he owns, but Kimi's ambitions are taking him in other directions.
When Kimi Raikkonen announced that he was going to try his hand at NASCAR, it seemed only right that he would pair with Kyle Busch Motorsports: who else but the Wild Thing would dare something as audacious as teaming up with the Iceman to bring a former F1 world champion to the States?

But despite a solid d├ębut with the team in the Truck Series race at Charlotte last week that saw him finish in 15th place and on the lead lap, plus KBM arranging an alliance with Joe Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports to put Kimi in a Nationwide car this weekend, it seems that the budding alliance between Busch and Raikkonen may already have run its course.

The original plan had suggested up to five Truck races with KBM this year, with Raikkonen investing a chunk of his own change into the endeavour as well as bringing some big name, high value personal sponsors with him. But according to Busch, the money's not coming through as planned.

"What's changed is the payment schedule," Busch said. "The contract states we're supposed to receive so much, and we have not. We've only received enough for these two races.

"It's either up to Kimi or to the financial people that run Kimi's business side of things and decide they need to find the sponsorship funds in order to carry the experience for him further."

Rather than a lack of money, it's probably more a case of Kimi having to decide exactly what he wants to do next. Five Truck races might have seemed like a grand plan back when he started his Great American Adventure back in March, but now staying in trucks seems a little ... dull, especially to a former world champion who just wants to have some fun.

If Kimi decided he'd rather race in Nationwide - let alone Sprint Cup - instead of "wasting his time" down in Trucks, then he would have immediately outgrown KBM. Busch's team is an exclusively Truck Series operation at present, although it had eyes on expanding into Nationwide in due course - perhaps via tracking a more measured career progression for Raikkonen

For that reason, extending himself to put Raikkonen into Joe Nemechek's #87 in the Nationwide Series just about fitted Busch's plans, albeit at a stretch. What doesn't fit in at all is Raikkonen eyeing up a Sprint Cup ride.

"It would be nice to go and do it, but I don't know if it's going to happen or not," said Raikkonen, talking about the possibility of running the June 26 Sprint Cup Sonoma road race.




Related Pictures

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Kimi Raikkonen finished 15th in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway [Picture credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Trucks race during the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, leads the field at the end of the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tayler Malsam, driver of the #32 Outerwall Chevrolet, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick at Rockingham. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tyler Reddick in the #19 Brad Keselowski Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy, driver of the #31 Heater.com Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29 2014. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Cardboardhead - Unregistered

May 28, 2011 7:29 AM

I think Kimi is doing exactly the same what he did with Rally. Some testing with top cars and then some racing with leased team and finally decision to go fulltime or not. He still has contract on WRC races, with next one coming in one month. Now, about money. Kimi is not broke, nor his Ice1 team is. I could see that they just don't want to pay Kyle too much upfront, especially as Kimi is still just looking around. So, he gets his money, but not in one bulk. Kimi's reputation is good with money and there are loads of it. Personally I hope Kimi will go full either to NASCAR (Nationwide/Sprint and depending of these test races) or Formula 1 with Red Bull and his good friend Sebastian Vettel. My guess is NASCAR.



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