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.
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
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