NASCAR drivers pumped to race Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen. Picture: Trackhouse Racing Twitter

NASCAR Cup Series drivers have expressed their excitement at Kimi Raikkonen’s top-flight debut later this year.

Raikkonen was last week announced to make a one-off appearance in the Trackhouse Racing Team’s Project91 entry at Watkins Glen International this August.

The 2007 Formula 1 world champion has previously made cameos in NASCAR’s lower tiers but this will be his first outing in the Cup Series.

Ross Chastain, who has won two races for Trackhouse already this year, welcomed the news.

“Dude, do we expect anything else from [Trackhouse owner] Justin Marks?” Chastain said.

“I mean, my goodness, the guy goes and starts a two-car Cup team and immediately puts us all in position to win races and compete the first year together as what Trackhouse is now as a two-car team out of Concord.

“So it doesn’t surprise me when he first told me about it, it’s ‘okay, let’s do it. How can I help?’

“It’s insane that Kimi Raikkonen is going to be my team-mate, and the sky’s the limit on who else could do it,” he added.

“You know, he’s opened it up to anybody, and it’s incredible to think that any winning race-car driver in the world could put together a programme to come run with us, so I don’t know who to expect next.”

Kaz Grala, who competes part-time for the Floyd Mayweather-owned The Money Team Racing, described the Raikkonen announcement as “the coolest thing ever”.

“I love Formula 1. I’m a big fan, and Kimi has probably been my favourite personality in F1 for quite a few years now,” he said.

“So I think it’s awesome that he’s going to come over and do a NASCAR race.

“So I’m hoping that I’m in that field because wouldn’t that be cool to be able to say you’ve raced against him.”

The Project91 initiative has been designed to bring stars from other motorsport disciplines into NASCAR.

Watkins Glen will host the penultimate race of the regular season on August 21 (local time).

This weekend, Gateway Motorsports Park hosts Cup Series action for the first time.

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