Raikkonen to NASCAR reports 'a joke' - Varsha

By on Friday, April 1, 2011

Apr.1 (GMM) American formula one TV anchor Bob Varsha suspects the news about Kimi Raikkonen entering NASCAR might be a joke.

"Personally I think it's an April Fool's joke," the Speed TV personality told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

A Finnish newspaper broke the story two days ago, revealing that F1's departed 2007 world champion will combine his rallying foray with NASCAR this year.

But the news has since been confirmed, with a spokeswoman telling Canadian website auto123.com that the 31-year-old's application to debut in the truck series at Charlotte on May 20 "was approved".

"I just find it terribly implausible," said Varsha, explaining that Raikkonen's famously introverted personality would not fit in NASCAR.

Indeed, in 2009, Raikkonen admitted he is "not one of the biggest fans of NASCAR".

Varsha said NASCAR drivers are typically "extroverted and gregarious": "That's the reason he got out of formula one ... because he hated the pressure of having to deal with the press".

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve agrees that NASCAR and Raikkonen do not appear to fit together.

"I think the driving won't be a problem for him. His biggest challenge will be off the race track. He'll need to open up socially," said the French Canadian.

"NASCAR is not a closed environment like F1 is. You need to respect the other drivers and socialise," added Villeneuve.

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