The F1 star is set to run his first NASCAR Cup Series race
Back in 2011, Kimi Raikkonen ventured into NASCAR with 1 race in NASCAR Xfinity Series and another in the Truck Series. This weekend, he makes his NASCAR Cup Series debut.
View the Kimi Raikkonen paint scheme below.
He’s driving a third entry for Trackhouse Racing via the No. 91. The car was announced earlier this year and will see a rotation of elite drivers from outside the world of stock car racing. The F1 champion is the first driver to sit in the seat.
Earlier this week, Raikkonen ran a short test at Virginia International Raceway. The track is absent from the Cup schedule. It just gave Raikkonen a chance to get familar with the machine.
Several months ago, NASCAR adjusted their testing rules for ‘elite’ drivers. For 2022, most race weekends see a brief 20 minute practice session. On top of a testing ban, that makes it extremely difficult for Raikkonen and other drivers coming from outside the traditional NASCAR ladder system.
Now, Raikkonen is ready. He’ll make his debut this weekend at Watkins Glen International.
Kimi Raikkonen comments
“I don’t have anything to compare but it was nice to get some laps, even though it;s not exactly the same car that we’re going to race,” Kimi Raikkonen stated.
“I’m sure it will be a bit easier going into practice on the race day. I have little experience with the Cup car.”
“It’s honestly, more or less, what I expected. It’s ok, the same thing happens with a normal car, when the tires get hot you start sliding more. So far, it’s been good.”
“Without [the test], practice and qualifying would be a lot harder. Thanks to NASCAR to have those few laps.”
“It’s been fun being in the car. I haven’t driven any race car since the last F1 race.”
Raikkonen’s last F1 race was at the end of the 2021 season.