“Maybe It Means Lewis Hamilton in the Daytona 500” – NASCAR Owner Justin Marks Sets Tongues Wagging With More Details on Project 91

Published 06/20/2022, 1:36 AM EDT
Jun 12, 2022; Sonoma, California, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) teammates celebrates after winning the NASCAR Toyota – Save Mart 350 race event at Sonoma Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, the Trackhouse Racing team announced an ambitious venture. It was dubbed Project 91 and the aim was to give non-NASCAR drivers a shot at competing in the Cup Series. The first driver to be part of the project is 2007 F1 champion and fan favorite driver Kimi Raikkonen. However, team owner Justin Marks has bigger plans, and one of them includes tempting a certain Lewis Hamilton.

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He said, “I want to just dream up scenarios for us as race car drivers to be able to experience and see, and just try to make it happen. What does that mean? Maybe it means Lewis Hamilton in the Daytona 500, Valentino Rossi, or you know Daniel Ricciardo or whoever it could be, and creating something that is compelling enough, so that I can have those conversations with those people.

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Will Lewis Hamilton drive a NASCAR Cup car?

Admittedly, it would be difficult to coax a driver of Hamilton’s stature to race a NASCAR Cup car. However, he has driven Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing car in a ride swap. So, the Briton isn’t exactly unfamiliar with stock cars, but racing them against 40+ stock cars is a different case altogether. It is worth mentioning that Raikkonen is making his Cup Series debut. This is after he competed on one Truck and one Xfinity Series race in 2011.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 12, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Fortunately for the veteran Finn, he will be racing at a road course. So he will not be completely out of his depth at the Watkins Glen International Circuit. Admittedly, a lot is riding on this maiden run for Trackhouse Racing. This is because, if Raikkonen has a good time and has a decent finish, it could open up the doors for more top racers. Hamilton is one such target, as are the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.

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Dhruv George

13220 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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