Trackhouse Racing has officially announced their first renowned international driver for their groundbreaking PROJECT91 NASCAR Cup Series entry as Kimi Raikkonen, the Iceman, will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this season at Watkins Glen International.
Raikkonen, who has made one NASCAR Xfinity Series start and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, both back in 2011, will pilot the Trackhouse Racing No. 91 NASCAR Cup Series entry at The Glen on August 21st.
Raikkonen, who retired following the 2021 Formula One racing season, says he was content with retirement, but opted to agree to return and make his NASCAR Cup Series debut after Marks traveled to his home country to explain the program and how serious it would be.
“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,” said Raikkonen. “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.”
For Trackhouse team owner Justin Marks, Raikkonen is the exact embodiment of what he had in mind for a driver for PROJECT91.
“Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I first had in mind when we created PROJECT91,” said Marks who won the Rolex 24 as well as a NASCAR Xfinity Series race as a driver. “Kimi is a world-renowned driver with a tremendous amount of talent and fan following. We have had long discussions, and like us, he is already hard at work preparing for Watkins Glen.”
According to the press release from Trackhouse Racing, Raikkonen’s start at Watkins Glen is the only planned start for the PROJECT91 entry for the 2022 season, but that the team is expected to compete more often and with additional drivers in 2023.
Trackhouse Racing announced the launch of PROJECT91 earlier this week. The purpose of the entry is to give prominent international drivers a platform to make NASCAR Cup Series starts.
Raikkonen is one of the world’s most renowned drivers, no doubt. The 42-year old Finnish driver amassed 21 F1 Grand Prix wins and 103 podium finishes in a career that spanned 349 starts. Raikkonen was the 2007 F1 World Champion.
As far as his two NASCAR National Series starts go, Raikkonen scored a 15th place finish in his lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and he was 27th in his one NASCAR Xfinity Series start back in 2011.