Trackhouse Entertainment Group’s PROJECT91 today announced that 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen will drive the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Aug. 21.
Raikkonen becomes the first driver to join the team’s PROJECT91 program announced Tuesday by Trackhouse Founder and Owner Justin Marks. PROJECT91’s goal is to expand the organization’s international reach by fielding a NASCAR Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers.
Trackhouse Racing – a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group – now fields the No. 99 and the No. 1 Chevrolets with drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain.
Raikkonen and Marks made the announcement on the team’s social media channels this morning.
“Kimi Raikkonen is the driver I first had in mind when we created PROJECT91,” said Marks who won the Rolex 24 as well as a NASCAR Xfinity Series race as a driver. “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.”
PROJECT91 plans to bring Raikkonen to the team’s race shop in Concord, North Carolina for preparations. Darian Grubb, winner of 23 Cup races and the 2011 champion crew chief, will lead Raikkonen’s team.
“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,” said Raikkonen. “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.”
Raikkonen retired from Formula One in 2021 after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams since he started in 2001. The native of Espoo, Finland won 21 races and stood on 103 podiums in his F1 career.
His Formula One highlight came in 2007 when he won the F1 World Driving title for Scuderia Ferrari.
This will not be his first venture in the NASCAR world. He competed in the Xfinity and Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May 2011.
Marks said Raikkonen’s entry at Watkins Glen is the only PROJECT91 race planned for 2022 but expects more races in 2023 with additional drivers.