Kimi Räikkönen’s NASCAR experiment is officially over

Jay Busbee
From the Marbles

Kimi Räikkönen's dalliance with NASCAR is over after just two official races.

Reports out of Europe indicate that Räikkönen will return to F1 in 2012, driving for Lotus Renault GP in the first year of a two-year contract.

Räikkönen had driven two races in NASCAR's national series, one apiece in the Camping World Trucks and Nationwide series, for Kyle Busch and Joe Nemechek, respectively. He splashed into NASCAR with acclaim, but finished 15th in the trucks race and 27th at the Nationwide race. He also tore up Robby Gordon's car in testing, and didn't end up driving in the Sprint Cup race at Sonoma, as had been predicted.

Räikkönen, the 2007 World Driver's Champion, paid truck owner Kyle Busch an estimated $100,000 per race, and while he initially said he would be running three to five races, Busch said Räikkönen only paid for two.

Räikkönen had left F1 after the 2009 season, driving rally cars and dabbling in NASCAR while never really parting from the F1 scene. His name frequently came up in team rumors, and now it appears he'll be back where he belonged all along.

[Via SBNation.]

What to Read Next