NASCAR fans might get a treat at Watkins Glen this weekend. Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 F1 Champion, is racing for Trackhouse Racing. As the biggest surprise of the season, Trackhouse has a lot more up its sleeves. They are the team that has made it their mission to make NASCAR international. Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain have put the team on the map, through the good and the bad.
Now, the team – which is owned by superstar performer Pitbull – is bringing another star to the roster. With Project 91, the third Cup Series car for the team, things might get really interesting. There have been road course aces such as Joey Hand that have raced for other teams. Trackhouse thinks it can do it better.
Trackhouse Racing Brings in ‘The Iceman’
Raikkonen is a well-respected and accomplished driver in the motorsports world. You don’t compete for 20 years in Formula One for basically every manufacturer out there without being an absolute professional and a great driver. Of course, winning the World Championship in 2007 is the highlight of his career.
Check out his No. 91 Chevy Camaro sponsored by Recogni, an artificial intelligence company that develops detection systems for self-driving vehicles.
“The Iceman” is making his debut in NASCAR at Watkins Glen. The road course has a lot of history in the sport of stock car racing. Will Kimi Raikkonen be able to seize the opportunity and make a statement Sunday? That’s hard to say, but a competitor with his record and his passion for racing are sure to make things interesting.
The 42-year-old Finnish driver has been running some practice on a Chevy simulator. He has also driven in an older version of the Cup Series car. The Next Gen car might pose problems, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Justin Marks ‘Worked Hard’ to Get Raikkonen Ready
Of course, this isn’t something that just happens. NASCAR has to approve drivers and then there is some responsibility to get the driver some practice and experience beforehand. However, before any of that is even thought about, you have to land the driver. No Kimi, no Project 91 at Watkins Glen.
“As a company, we have worked hard to get Kimi ready,” Trackhouse team owner and founder Justin Marks said.
“He has adapted very quickly so far. I know he will be quick. Our job is to help Jimi learn the rules specific to NASCAR to make sure that doesn’t bite us. But everyone knows how much talent he has and it’s shown on the simulator and at the test.”
So, Trackhouse Racing feels good about Raikkonen. Will that produce results at Watkins Glen? Hard to say, but we will see this Sunday. If they don’t get five-wide like they did at Indy, things should be all right. But the Cup Series is always full of surprises.