Arguably more than any other driver, Kimi Raikkonen has a penchant for breaking with convention and forging his own path. The Finnish driver started out in F1 amid protests over his relative lack of experience – having contested fewer than a dozen professional lower-level races in his career – and finished 10th in his debut championship.

The next season, he was driving for McLaren, the season after that he won his first grand prix, and within just a few years was crowned world champion for Ferrari. And when that got boring, he made an unprecedented moved to the World Rally Championship. But that's apparently wearing thin on a driver not known for sitting still, so off he goes to NASCAR.

We first broke the news of Kimi's plans back in March, and a few days later already had confirmation of his contract with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to debut in the Camping World Truck Series – the entry point into NASCAR racing. Now he's set to make his oval-track debut this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this is the truck he'll be driving.

The No. 15 Toyota Tundra is being fielded by KBM for Kimi's ICE1RACING team, and features sponsorship from – wait for it – Perky Jerky. The dried meat snack packs guarana (a plant with twice the caffeine of coffee) and was apparently invented when some guys spilled energy drink on their beef jerky while trapped on a ski lift. (Seriously, we couldn't make this stuff up.) Today it's the "official jerky of the Daytona 500", and should go down well with the Red Bull sponsorship on the Citroën DS3 which Raikkonen drives in the WRC. Official press release after the jump.
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Perky Jerky Unveils NASCAR Race Truck and Paint Scheme to Be Piloted by Former Formula One Champion Kimi Raikkonen in His NASCAR Debut
World Waits to See Kimi Räikkönen's Performance in First NASCAR Race

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Perky Jerky (perkyjerky.com), the ultra-premium jerky flavored with a hint of guarana that's quickly gaining fame around the world, unveiled today the paint scheme set to adorn Kimi Räikkönen truck for his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series race this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This race will mark the first time the 2007 Formula One world champion will compete in a NASCAR event.

Räikkönen's self-owned operation, known as ICE1RACING, which also fields his World Rally Championship and motocross teams, has partnered with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to assist in the move to NASCAR. KBM will field the No. 15 Toyota Tundra for Räikkönen to pilot
Friday night.

Known worldwide as "Iceman" for his surgical driving skills and calculated demeanor both on and off the track, Finnish race car driver Kimi Räikkönen is regarded as one of the world's most successful professional athletes. His move to NASCAR has captured the attention of the global sporting media and the world is waiting to see how Räikkönen will adjust to the world of NASCAR.

"Perky Jerky might only be two years old, but we have one of the best race car drivers in the world to represent our brand in America's greatest race series," said Brian Levin, Perky Jerky founder and chairman on the herd. "We look forward to seeing Kimi take the checkered flag on Friday for Perky Jerky and we'll be cheering him along as will our Perky Jerky fans across the
country and around the world."

Already entrenched in NASCAR as the official and exclusive jerky of the Daytona 500, Perky Jerky has developed a marketing strategy that includes consumer sampling via velcro suits, better known as the "jerk suit" and tasting opportunities via the "jerk bar", a traveling sampling display, which has become a must-stop at many NASCAR events around the country.

Kimi Räikkönen will drive the No. 15 Perky Jerky Toyota Tundra in the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20, 2011. The race will air on SPEED beginning at 8:00 pm ET.

About Perky Jerky: Four years ago during a ski lift calamity, Perky Jerky's founders spilled energy drink all over their stash of beef jerky. Stranded, hungry and 40-feet off the ground, they ate the soaked jerky and realized they were on to something. Three years in the kitchen and hundreds of homemade jerky recipes later, Perky Jerky was perfected and launched in 2009. In less than two years, Perky Jerky has quickly reached stratospheric levels of popularity amongst athletes, moms, students, troops and truckers alike. Perky Jerky can be found at many retailers across the country, including Home Depot, 7-Eleven, Publix, Target, Sports Authority and many other fine retailers. Keep up with Perky Jerky at facebook.com/perkyJerky and on Twitter @perkyjerky.com.

To learn more about Perky Jerky, visit www.perkyjerky.com
To learn more about Kimi Räikkönen, visit www.kimiraikkonen.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      jps
      • 3 Years Ago
      SWEDISH?!?!?!? The author of this article should be fired.
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jps
        Yes, fired... out of a cannon and into the sun. (Cookie for reference.)
      IVIaster
      • 3 Years Ago
      SWEDISH?!?!?! Räikkönen is FINNISH!!!!!!
      brands
      • 3 Years Ago
      Swedish?? Really? How hard is it to get that bit of information right?
        Autoblog
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brands
        lol, just noticed that. I think they are doing this on purpose so people will comment on the story.
      brands
      • 3 Years Ago
      Swedish?? Really? How hard is it to get that bit of information right?
      Evan
      • 3 Years Ago
      F1 is where the best drivers in the world hang out. The rednecks race trucks and NAScraps.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Evan
        Really? The best drivers? So why is it that I can count on one single hand the F1 drivers who have had success in NASCAR? Dario Franchitti? Back-to-back Indy 500 winner and IndyCar champion? Spent 1 year driving in NASCAR, but was fired by his current boss, Chip Ganassi, because he failed to produce. Was sent back to IndyCar where he won that 2nd championship that next year. Not an F1 driver, but it kind of shows the skill level involved when a driver like that can't get success in NASCAR. Jaques Villeneuve? F1 champion and multiple race winner and has the last name to go with it. Yet, he never once had success in NASCAR. He only managed to get 3 top tens. Wanna know the list of F1 drivers who have won in NASCAR? Got time? Because this is a VERY long list. Dan Gurney Mario Andretti Juan Pablo Montoya That's it. Just 3. That's 3 out of the close to 20 F1 drivers who have defected over to NASCAR. You're an idiot. That is all.
          Dan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          I havent seen a NASCAR driver touch F1. Sorry you fail. corners at 150=more difficault then huge wide turns at 200. Ive been on an oval track and I road race. Oval tracks are fun when they have dirt on them but road courses take the cake every time, and they are more difficult to navigate. I imagine entering a corner at the speeds the F1 cars do is really brain intensive. You dont have much time to think.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Dan, you obviously haven't heard of Dan Gurney... Oh and nice lie. You still haven't been around Daytona or Talledega like I described, so don't even make the judgement that it's easier to drive faster on a wide oval.
      ptkollar
      • 3 Years Ago
      Further evidence that the NASCAR crowd are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. I doubt if Kimi would take kindly to being called Swedish.
      Peter T
      • 3 Years Ago
      booo NASCAR.
      longducdong
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do drivers keep going backwards? I wanna see someone start off in NASCAR, then graduate to something better like WRC, and then become an F1 star. Why does it always seem to be the opposite?
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Something better? Seriously? You can't be serious? That has to be a joke. Let me ask a question I ask to EVERYBODY who claims one sport is better than the other... So you've driven a 3,400lb, 450hp, NASCAR-spec race car around a 2.5 mile oval at over 200mph with 42 other drivers that want to win just as bad as you do? Oh, you haven't? Then I'd suggest not making the claim that F1 or WRC is better skillwise
          Charles
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Its actually closer to 600-650 HP, but i agree with you.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Willie, coilover suspension was developed in NASCAR, along with other closed-wheeled motorsports. Eibach looks to NASCAR to test their suspension systems and see how they do in real race situations. Oh and quick change rear ends are now starting to be sold to the public. I've seen many a guys who build their street/track cars with quick change rear ends.
          Junkyard Willie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Technology comes from F1. What kind of technology comes from NASCAR? Non right?
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        WRC > F1
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Pdexter
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll be following my first, Nascar type of race thingie just to see Raikkonen drive. Raikkonen even after a year he left had second most fans in F1 globally so there will certainly be some to tune in just to see him race.
      meekli8
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Good news NASCAR is finally Getting rid of Carburators lol
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @meekli8
        And yet, NASCAR wasn't the only sport to use them. NHRA still uses carbs...
      Lev Uretsky
      • 3 Years Ago
      How come you judge those racers if you, yourselves, NEVER compete in F1 and NASCAR?
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