Montoya would welcome Raikkonen

Juan Pablo Montoya says it would be good news for the sport if his former McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen moves to NASCAR

Montoya would welcome Raikkonen

Former Formula 1 world champion Raikkonen will follow Montoya's footsteps in moving to America's most popular form of racing this year.

The former Ferrari driver would start his NASCAR foray next summer with races in the Camping World Truck Series, a national championship where some current and former Sprint Cup drivers compete against young talent.

Raikkonen's manager Steve Robertson confirmed the move on Wednesday: "Kimi will drive in selected races in the NASCAR series."

Montoya, his team-mate during 26 Formula 1 grands prix, would welcome the prospect of having him race in NASCAR.

"Well, people talk a lot and I've heard the story already before, but if he's definitely coming it would be really good for him and for the sport," Montoya told AUTOSPORT.

"He would be very welcome here."

Montoya was Raikkonen's team-mate at McLaren starting in 2005, winning 10 out of the season's 19 grands prix between them.

Then in 2006 the two raced together again until the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, right before the Colombian announced a deal to race in NASCAR's top series for Chip Ganassi in 2007.

Montoya's early departure from Formula 1 following his NASCAR announcement anticipated his stock car debut to the fall of 2006. He entered six races at lower-level stock car series before making his Sprint Cup debut in the 2006 season-finale at Homestead.

Raikkonen would be the sixth former F1 driver to attempt a move to NASCAR since Montoya announced his deal in the summer of 2006.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula 1 world champion, has competed in 15 NASCAR events in the US between 2007 and 2010 but a full-time drive has not materialised.

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Series NASCAR
Author Diego Mejía
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