F1 Star Kimi Raikkonen to Make NASCAR Debut with Trackhouse Racing

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 30: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari looks on as he speaks with members of the media after driving a Shell Eco-Marathon car at a Shell fuel station during previews ahead of the United States Formula One Grand Prix on October 30, 2014 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen will return to compete on NASCAR’s biggest stage. He’ll drive the new 91 Chevrolet Camaro for Trackhouse Racing at the Watkins Glen International road course. Raikkonen is the first global star the team has attracted for its new PROJECT91 program, offering Cup Series rides to accomplished global motorsports drivers.

Team owner and founder Justin Marks hopes that the car can attract more global stars into NASCAR. Finnish Kimi Raikkonen has competed in more Formula One races than any other driver and won the 2007 World Championship.

“Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I first had in mind when we created PROJECT91,” said Justin Marks. “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.”

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – APRIL 23: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevrolet, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23, 2022 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

It’s not Raikkonen’s first foray into NASCAR. He competed in a few Xfinity and Truck Series races in 2011, but Watkins Glen will mark his Cup Series debut.

Raikkonen 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.”

The race will be Raikkonen’s first drive since retiring from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season. Trackhouse Racing intends to expand the PROJECT91 program to other global motorsport stars going forward, running the third car at limited events next season.

Owen Johnson