Busch: Next move up to Raikkonen
Kyle Busch says he remains open to running Kimi Raikkonen in further NASCAR Truck or Nationwide Series outings, although no more races are planned for the time being.
The NASCAR star fielded a Toyota Tundra truck from Kyle Busch Motorsports two weeks ago for Raikkonen's stock car debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He then ran the Finn again a week later in the Nationwide Series through NEMCO Motorsports at the same track, where Raikkonen ran well until a pit speeding penalty put him two laps down.
Busch had initially spoken about running the 2007 Formula 1 world champion in as many as five Truck races, but plans quickly changed and Raikkonen made the jump immediately to NASCAR's second tier series.
The owner/driver says the decision whether to carry on with the team is down to Raikkonen himself, but he says Kyle Busch Motorsports would be able to run him again either in the Trucks or Nationwide Series.
"If they want to come and run a few more Truck races, we've got the opportunity to do a couple more Nationwide races, and I'm sure myself and [NEMCO Motorsports boss] Joe Nemechek can put something together," said Busch. "It's all up to those guys, really."
He added: "Kimi is a hard guy to read sometimes, but that is just kind of his personality. That's alright, nothing wrong with that. I like Kimi. I liked working with him and talking with him and developing a little bit of a relationship there.
"I feel like he had a good time while here and working with us and working on the Truck and Nationwide side. As Juan [Pablo Montoya] said, it's quite a challenging racetrack to pick as your first race track to go racing at - Charlotte is.
"If he wants to come back and run some other venues like an Atlanta or a Martinsville or a Homestead or whatever, those are definitely some options that are open and we're open to discussions."
Raikkonen has been tipped to make his Sprint Cup Series debut at the end of the month at Sears Point, the Finn saying last week he was keen on trying out a road-course event after testing a Cup car for Robby Gordon's team before his Nationwide debut.
KBM's Rick Ren said his team could run Raikkonen for a Cup debut through an established team in NASCAR's top series, but the timing for such move was tight and options very limited.
Raikkonen returns to the World Rally Championship in two weeks for the Acropolis Rally.