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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.




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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship after the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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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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