Raikkonen running NASCAR race at Watkins Glen


Trackhouse Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series team has a splashy name to kick off its new international driver program: Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion.

Raikkonen will drive the Trackhouse “Project 91” car on Aug. 21 at the Watkins Glen International road course. The 42-year-old becomes the first driver named to the new No. 91 car, which team owner Justin Marks said is being reserved for world-renowned racing figures who are looking for a landing spot in NASCAR.

Finland’s Raikkonen, who retired from F1 last year after 19 seasons and 350 races, has previous stock car experience. In 2011, he traveled to the United States to drive in an Xfinity Series race and a Truck Series race for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He got up to speed fairly quickly and later expressed an interest in doing a Cup race at some point.

“I hope one day (to come back),” Raikkonen said in 2014. “Obviously I didn’t know how it is, so when I came to U.S. to do that, I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice and how fun it was.

“It’s not easy, like any popular sport, but I really enjoyed the time. Hopefully I can do more of those and hopefully in the future some Sprint Cup. We’ll see what happens.”

Raikkonen, known as “The Iceman,” had 21 wins and 103 podiums during his lengthy F1 career. His blunt nature made him a popular figure in the F1 world, and his visit to NASCAR will certainly be greeted with enthusiasm.

Trackhouse has not made any further announcements for its lineup of races or drivers, but Raikkonen’s presence signals the door is open for other major names to join its roster for one-off events in the future.

(Photo: Kamran Jebreili / Pool / Getty Images)





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