NASCAR Updates Key Rule After Trackhouse Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen Announcement

Published 06/17/2022, 9:55 AM EDT
May 29, 2022; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) leads the field into turn 1 during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR is renovating. NASCAR is growing. NASCAR is adapting. A good example of the sport’s renovation is the Next Gen car, which gave us the growth through the entry of teams like Trackhouse Racing that have now given us the recent way in which the sport is adapting.

PROJECT 91 was recently announced by the team owned by Pitbull and Justin Marks. It’s a special program that will allow global icons of racecar driving to take part in stock car racing’s premier competition.

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But while the idea is pretty good on all fronts for the sport as well as the future of the sport, there is something that NASCAR has recently updated in the light of developments like PROJECT 91 that could be a regular fixture if it’s a success.

Journalist Kelly Crandall recently reported the update which is in the rule book pertaining to a “select driver orientation test”. 

“NASCAR has updated the rule book with a “select driver orientation test” section. These tests will be for drivers with elite credentials from other forms of motor sports who are entered to run a Cup Series race. Good example is what Trackhouse Racing plans with PROJECT91,” she tweeted.

F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen, the first Project 91 driver on his NASCAR Cup debut

Kimi Raikkonen called it quits from Formula 1 last year. The Fin won the F1 championship with Ferrari in 2007, but he also has some NASCAR experience under his belt in the form of one appearance in the Truck Series and one in the Xfinity Series in 2011.

And now he’s set to drive in the top tier of the sport again, with an appearance at Watkins Glen thanks to the PROJECT 91 by the Trackhouse Racing team. In a press release, the Iceman expressed how the whole thing came to be.

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“I wasn’t looking to race again, but Justin came to my home in Switzerland and convinced me how serious he was about putting together a top-notch program,” Raikkonen said.

While the former Ferrari driver is looking forward to having a fun experience, he emphasized on how he will take this opportunity “very seriously.”

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“I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup Series is and it will be a big challenge,” he added.

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Shaharyar Khan Chauhan

1184 articles

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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