Kimi Raikkonen will drive the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International this August in his NASCAR Cup Series debut.
Kimi Raikkonen. Watkins Glen. PROJECT91.
The Iceman returns. pic.twitter.com/4SSrQPjynQ
— PROJECT91 (@THProject91) May 26, 2022
He last competed in NASCAR in the 2011 Truck and Xfinity races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 2007 Formula 1 World Champion is to be the first driver to race as part of Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 program, the program they announced on Tuesday that aims to expand their international reach by fielding the No. 91 car for various international superstar racing car drivers from other motorsport disciplines.
Kimi's back, and he's off to @NASCAR!
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 26, 2022
Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks said: “Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I first had in mind when we created PROJECT91. Kimi is a world-renowned driver with a tremendous amount of talent and fan following.”
Raikkonen, nicknamed The Iceman, said: “I wasn’t looking to race again, but Justin came to my home in Switzerland and convinced me how serious he was about putting together a top-notch program. This will be fun, but it’s something I will take very seriously. I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup Series is and it will be a big challenge.”
This will be Raikkonen’s first NASCAR road course race, as back in 2011 he competed on the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval for Kyle Busch Motorsports where he finished a very respectable 15th place in the Truck race, and also drove for NEMCO Motorsports, who KBM partnered with, in the Xfinity race finishing 27th.
Co-team owner Justin Marks said: “I truly believe the Next Gen car represents an opportunity for NASCAR to enter the global professional motorsport conversation. We now have a race vehicle with international technological relevance where world-class drivers from other disciplines can compete at NASCAR’s highest level without the steep learning curve that the previous generation cars required.”
Darian Grubb, winner of 23 Cup races and the 2011 champion crew chief, will captain Raikkonen’s No. 91 team for the Watkins Glen Cup Race. Trackhouse Racing plan to bring Raikkonen to the race shop in Concord, North Carolina for preparations.
There is a chill in the air. pic.twitter.com/LvGe7WALRk
— Watkins Glen International (@WGI) May 26, 2022
The Watkins Glen Cup Race is the only race Trackhouse’s PROJECT91 program plans to enter in 2022. Marks expects more races in 2023 with more drivers taking part.
Featured Image: Kimi Raikkonen, driver of the No. 15 Perky Jerky Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20th, 2011. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)