Concorde, NC ( Associated Press) — Kimi Raikkonen, 2007 Formula One World Champion, Will Drive Number 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 In the race for the NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen International Road Course on August 21 for Trackhouse Racing.
Raikkonen retired from Formula One last year after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams. The Finland native has won 21 races and been on 103 podiums in his F1 career.
He won the F1 World Driving title in 2007 while driving for Scuderia Ferrari.
That PROJECT91 . as part of a program called With the goal of expanding the trackhouse’s international reach by fielding a cup entry for renowned international racing drivers. Trackhouse Racing is a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group, a venture of former driver Justin Marks and Grammy Award-winning rapper Pitbull.
Raikkonen previously competed in the Xfinity and Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2011. He never did a cup race.
“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 event,” Raikkonen said in a news release Thursday. “It will be fun, but it is something I will take very seriously. I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup Series is and it will be a huge challenge.”
Marks said Raikkonen’s entry at Watkins Glen is the only PROJECT91 race planned for 2022, but more races are expected in 2023 with additional drivers.
“Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I took into account when I first made the PROJECT91,” Marx said in a news release on Thursday. “Kimi is a world-renowned driver who has tremendous talent and fans. We have had lengthy discussions, and like us, he is already working hard to prepare for Watkins Glen.”
Cup driver Ryan Blaine said he is looking forward to competing against Raikkonen, adding that it is great for the sport.
“Yes, Snowman,” said Blaney. “I’m a big fan and really enjoyed watching him grow up and do F1 racing. I think that’s a great suggestion.”
Blaney called Raikkonen a great driver, but said he expected it to be difficult for him to adjust to the new Cup cars with limited preparation time.
Daniel Suarez (No. 99) and Ross Chastain (No. 1) currently play in the Cup Series for Trackhouse Racing, a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group.
More Associated Press Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports