F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen Returning to NASCAR, COTA
Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen is coming back to NASCAR.
Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 champion, is returning to Trackhouse Racing's Project 91 to race in the NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on March 26. Raikkonen made his Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen last August, when he crashed out and finished 37th in a 39-car field.
Circuit of the Americas holds a special place in Raikkonen's heart, as it is the site of his 21st and final F1 victory in 2018.
“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”
At COTA, Raikkonen will team with Trackhouse drivers Daniel Suarez and Ross "Hail Melon" Chastain.
Trackhouse team owner and founder Justin Marks created Project 91 last year in an effort in growing the organization’s global reach by fielding a Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers.
Raikkonen, 43, retired from Formula 1 following the 2021 season.
“When we announced Kimi last year I said he was the global superstar I had in mind when we created Project 91. I think you saw the fan reception across the world and Kimi’s performance in the car was proof of the concept. Kimi’s following is massive and it’s great for NASCAR, Trackhouse, plus I think Kimi really enjoys our racing.”
Räikkönen will race the No. 91 Onx/iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro at COTA. The effort will be led in the pits by 23-time wining crew chief Darian Grubb, who won a Cup Series title with Tony Stewart in 2011.