After a robust begin to the 2023 Cup season, Trackhouse is able to run the following entry in Mission 91, with the identical driver who made his automotive debut final season at Watkins Glen. Former Method 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will make his second NASCAR begin, however this time he’ll do it on a monitor he is aware of very nicely.
Raikkonen has eight COTA begins in F1 and received the race in 2008 whereas driving for Ferrari. He has led 39 laps on this race and can hope to seek out himself within the lead for the March 26 Cup race. “There was rather a lot to study in a really quick time final 12 months, however everybody was very useful, the competitors was an enormous problem. This time I am racing on a monitor I do know, so there is not any will not have as steep of a studying curve.I need to have enjoyable but in addition do my greatest.
Regardless of ending thirty seventh on his debut at Watkins Glen, Raikkonen certified twenty seventh and was racing within the prime ten earlier than being eradicated in a crash. He’ll as soon as once more have veteran crew chief Darian Grubb on his stand, which ought to additional enhance their total efficiency. Grubb received 23 races as a Cup crew chief, together with the 2011 championship with Tony Stewart.
Staff proprietor Justin Marks says Raikkonen will not be within the automotive till race weekend, however shall be within the workshop with the crew to arrange. “After we introduced Kimi final 12 months, I mentioned he was the worldwide famous person I had in thoughts after we created Mission 91. I feel you noticed the reception from followers around the globe and Kimi’s efficiency within the automotive was proof of idea. and it is nice for NASCAR, and I feel Kimi actually likes our races.”
Marks cited the elevated variety of street races on the schedule as a serious cause for launching the undertaking. Raikkonen thinks he can nonetheless develop this season. “I am positive there are plenty of drivers on the market who would love an opportunity to attempt NASCAR,” Kimi mentioned. “It is not very straightforward, so possibly it can open doorways sooner or later for extra possibilities to try to entice extra Europeans to the game.”
Kimi will not be the one champion from one other collection to race at COTA. Hendrick Motorsports just lately introduced that IMSA champion and Rolex 24 winner Jordan Taylor will drive the #9 Chevrolet on the occasion, changing the injured Chase Elliott.