Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Interlagos, 2021

Raikkonen to make racing return in NASCAR at Watkins Glen

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Kimi Raikkonen will return to racing later this year in a one-off appearance in NASCAR’s top-flight Cup series.

The 2007 Formula 1 world champion will drive a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Team Trackhouse in the 25th round of the championship at Watkins Glen.

Trackhouse is courting drivers from outside NASCAR as part of an entry known as Project 91. Raikkonen will join the team’s regular drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez for the race on August 21st.

Raikkonen is not a newcomer to stock car racing. During his two-year break from F1 between 2010 and 2012, he appeared in NASCAR’s second-tier series and its Trucks category, achieving a best finish of 15th at the latter. Both races took place on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval.

Watkins Glen, the former F1 circuit in New York State, is one of a growing number of road courses on the predominantly oval-based NASCAR schedule. NASCAR uses the shorter, eight-turn 3.9-kilometre layout compared to the 11-turn course F1 last raced on in 1980.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut in 2001 and retired at the end of last season after making a record 349 starts. His successor as F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, drove a Chevrolet Impala NASCAR in a demonstration event at Watkins Glen in 2011, the same year Raikkonen made his two previous appearances.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Raikkonen to make racing return in NASCAR at Watkins Glen”

  1. I never envisioned him reappearing in Nascar someday.

    1. He raced nascar pickup trucks during his F1 sabbatical. I guess he didn’t get it out of his system.

  2. I see Viasat carries NASCAR in the Nordics, who knew…
    I guess I have no excuse not to watch this then

  3. August 21, already marked on the calendar.
    Should be fun to watch. His off-road background will help.

  4. Hope they let him use his old steering wheel. *g*

  5. I want Kimi in Indianapolis 500 !!!!! Come on Kimi!!! If do a one-off, do the best one!

  6. Of course this is a fantastic news to all of us. F1 has become super dull after the fastest man on Earth left the sport but now we have a new pinnacle of motorsport!
    So what do you think @todfod how much Alonso’s deficit to Kimi would be at Watkins Glen? Considering Kimi was around 1.0-1.5s per lap faster than Alonso in F1 maybe a deficit to 2.5-3.0 would be a fair estimate?

    1. Kimi has always been a slower driver in F1 than Alonso. I predict he will qualify no better than 20th. NASCAR is a super competitive sport. Remember Montoya in NASCAR? Having F1 experience counts for nothing in NASCAR. Raikonnens first 2 races in NASCAR were a disaster, he jumped in the deep end and was a danger to the other drivers. Villeneuve i

      1. Montoya has two wins and 4 top 5s at nascar road course events.

  7. @huhhii

    Great to have you back you nut job.
    I knew a kimi article would find you.
    Look forward to seeing kimi accomplish nothing in his next endeavor, just like he did in f1

    1. I like raikkonen and I like hearing he’s gonna be involved in more racing, but I see no basis for the 1-1,5 sec faster than alonso, although I feel like alonso might be showing signs of decline as well this year.

    2. Kimi has 1 trophy, 1 son, and 1 daughter.

    3. @todfod Just for the old time’s sake. Happy to see you’re still around. Enjoy the F1 season. Cheers!

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