Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Toyota , Racing Arguably more than any other driver, Kimi Raikkonen has a penchant for breaking with convention and forging his own path. The Finnish driver started out in F1 amid protests over his relative lack of experience – having contested fewer than a dozen professional lower-level races in his career – and finished 10th in his debut championship. The next season, he was driving for McLaren , the season after that he won his first grand prix, and within just a few years was crowned world champion for Ferrari . And when that got boring, he made an unprecedented moved to the World Rally Championship . But that’s apparently wearing thin on a driver not known for sitting still, so off he goes to NASCAR . We first broke the news of Kimi’s plans back in March, and a few days later already had confirmation of his contract with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to debut in the Camping World Truck Series – the entry point into NASCAR racing. Now he’s set to make his oval-track debut this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this is the truck he’ll be driving. The No. 15 Toyota Tundra is being fielded by KBM for Kimi’s ICE1RACING team, and features sponsorship from – wait for it – Perky Jerky. The dried meat snack packs guarana (a plant with twice the caffeine of coffee) and was apparently invented when some guys spilled energy drink on their beef jerky while trapped on a ski lift.
Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Bristol March 2011 KAHNE TAMED DARLINGTON: In Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Darlington Raceway, Kasey Kahne earned his first NCWTS win in a Tundra. Kahne drove the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Tundra at the historic South Carolina track because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) had the weekend off. The 30-year-old started second in the KBM No. 18 entry and led 95 (of 147) laps at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval to earn his third career NCWTS win in four career starts. In addition to Kahne, three other Tundra drivers earned top-10s in Saturday night’s race — Todd Bodine (third), Timothy Peters (sixth) and David Starr (10th). BREAK OUT THE BROOM: Camry driver Kyle Busch made NASCAR history last August at Bristol Motor Speedway when he became the first driver to sweep all three races — NCWTS, NNS and NSCS — at one race track in a single weekend. Busch has more NSCS victories at Bristol (four) than at any other track, as well as two NNS wins and three NCWTS victories at the half-mile Tennessee oval. SHORT TRACK SUCCESS: The races at Bristol Motor Speedway mark the first short track event of the 2011 season for NSCS and NNS teams. Last year, Camry drivers earned three (of four) wins at half-mile short tracks with Denny Hamlin visiting victory lane in both races at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway and his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Busch earning the win at Bristol Motor Speedway in the summer. TENNESSEE TIES: Two Toyota team members call Tennessee home.