|Kimi Raikkonen must have his head screwed on backwards|
Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen has received approval from NASCAR to compete in the Camping World truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20th.
Raikkonen is slated to make his debut in the truck series later this summer with a team that includes former Richard Petty Motorsports principal Foster Gillette as a partner. Gillett's father George was the owner of RPM before financial issues forced them to sell the remaining assets of the team to an investor group led by Richard Petty.
However Ray Evernham, who merged his team with the Petty organization in a business transaction with the Gilletts, had some strong words for the family's intention to return to NASCAR.
Evernham has filed a $16 million lawsuit against Gillett for money he believes is still owed.
"I honestly can't believe it will happen," Evernham said on Sirius NASCAR Radio's "Sirius Speedway" program. "I can't see how (the team" will be able to get parts and pieces. I can't imagine anyone doing business with (Gillett) considering the past history.
"That's just my opinion but the facts are there. There are a lot of people out there who are still owed a lot of money. It's a joke." CBS Sports
03/30/11 Former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen told a newspaper in his native Finland that he would try his hand at NASCAR racing—with Foster Gillett as a partner in his ICE-1 Racing team.
If this is true, and not an elaborate hoax, Raikkonen would be wise to be wary.
Gillett ran the day-to-day operations at Richard Petty Motorsports last year and ran the organization into the ground. Foster and his father, George Gillett, left hundreds of creditors and former employees holding the bag at RPM.
This is the same Foster Gillett who introduced himself to driver Carl Edwards by trying to "borrow" Edwards' four-wheeler in the driver/owner coach lot at Homestead—without permission.
"I hear my little Polaris Razor start up—I hear the exhaust start up," Edwards told Sporting News the day after the incident in November 2009. "'Who's in my four-wheeler?' So I run out the door, and here's these two guys—and I don't know who they are—and they're getting ready to take off. I say, 'Hey, hey, who are you?'"
One of the guys was Foster Gillett, but that was a mere peccadillo compared with some of the larger consternation the Gillett family has left in its wake.
03/29/11 We believe it is an April Fools joke going around but the rumor is that 31-year-old Finn Kimi Raikkonen is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR. The NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year. There will be a brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team. Among others Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadians NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club. Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.
"I'm really looking forward to get there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR. I have been following it for a long time. I know, it's a very tough and open top racing series. I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me", Raikkonen told the Turun Sanomat.
The negotiations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits. Turun Sanomat