Formula One World Champion Kimi “Iceman” Räikkönen will make his second Cup Series start on March 26th, 2023, taking control of the No. 91 NASCAR Chevy Camaro ZL1 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.
The No. 91 Camaro, also known as “Project 91,” is fielded by Trackhouse Racing, which is owned by Justin Marks and Armando Christian Pérez, well-known by his stage name, Pitbull. Marks created Project 91 with the intention of giving international race car drivers across all walks of motorsports the opportunity to take part in NASCAR. Räikkönen participated in the project in the 2022 season, piloting the No. 91 Camaro at Watkins Glen.
“When we announced Kimi last year I said he was the global superstar I had in mind when we created Project 91,” said Marks in a press release. “I think you saw the fan reception across the world and Kimi’s performance in the car was proof of the concept. Kimi’s following is massive and it’s great for NASCAR, Trackhouse plus I think Kimi really enjoys our racing.”
While the yellow stripes on the bumper of the No. 91 NASCAR Chevy will denote Räikkönen’s status as stock car driving rookie, he is far from inexperienced at COTA. He raced there many times during his F1 career and even won at the road course on October 21st, 2018, leading 39 laps in his open wheel Ferrari on his way to victory.
“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”
Trackhouse also fields the fulltime Cup Series entries of Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Camaro and Daniel Suárez’s No. 99 Camaro.