Earlier this week, Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing announced a new initiative – Project 91 – where internationally renowned drivers from the world’s top racing series would get the opportunity to drive a NASCAR stock car (Next Gen car) in a sanctioned Cup Series race.
The first driver and race has been chosen – Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen spent 20 years in Formula One where he is the all time leader in starts with 349 and is the 2007 F1 champion. Known to F1 as The Iceman, Raikkonen will drive the number 91 car on the road course a Watkins Glen on August 21. More races are planned for the 2023 racing season.
Speaking on the choice, Trackhouse Racing’s majority owner Justin Marks said, “I’m really excited to launch this year with Kimi Raikkonen. Obviously, the 2007 F1 World Champion and the most experienced F1 driver in history, he’ll really kind of help set this program off. I’m looking forward to it. I’m bullish in our ability to be able to track the global stars of motorsport and do something really special under the Trackhouse brand with PROJECT91.”
He added, “I think that he’s going to perform really, really well. The program is going to be first class. He’s going to have a real opportunity to go out there and compete. This isn’t just a PR stunt. The passion I have is fueled by the vision of someone coming in and winning.”
Kimi Raikkonen spoke on being chosen to drive the 91 car saying, “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 Watkins Glen race will not be Raikkonen’s first time in a NASCAR race; he has made a start in the Camping World Truck Series and in the Xfinity Series.
feature photo credit: 2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix (13712837654).jpg