Can Raikkonen still compete at the front on his return to racing in NASCAR?

2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen will race in NASCAR for the first time this weekend - does he still have what it takes to compete?
Can Raikkonen still compete at the front on his return to racing in NASCAR?

Kimi Raikkonen will make his return to competitive racing for the first time since returning from F1 at the end of 2021.

Raikkonen finally called time on his successful racing career after a lacklustre stint with Alfa Romeo.

Since retiring from F1, Raikkonen hasn’t raced at all but the Finn will compete in NASCAR this weekend.

The 42-year-old will race on Sunday at Watkins Glen in NASCAR for TrackHouse Racing and its Project 91 project.

Project 91 was founded by former NASCAR racer Justin Marks to raise the profile of the American series by having legendary drivers such as Raikkonen compete.

The former McLaren and Ferrari F1 driver previously competed in both Xfinity Series and Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway during his sabbatical in 2011.

Looking ahead to his debut, Raikkonen admitted the fact that anyone can compete for victories was appealing.

“I think any time there’s an equal chance to win in a series it is nice, I think it’s good, and what I heard when I talked to people about the new car is that it is pretty even with everybody. It’s still a learning phase for all teams with the new car,” Raikkonen told AP.

“I think he came as a very honest and straightforward guy and nobody has promised any big thing.

“The only thing we can do is do our best and hope we get a good result. You never know, any category or any racing you choose, you just never know what will happen. And so I trusted what he was saying and they’ve been doing pretty well. In NASCAR, it can easily happen.” 

Raikkonen praised Marks for the project and allowing European drivers to try American racing series.

“I’m pretty sure there might be some phone calls to Justin already. I think it’s a great opportunity for drivers from Europe because it’s not very easy to come from Europe to the U.S. to race,” Raikkonen added. 

“People can get challenges and maybe they can come here and have a long future because it is a good sport. I think it is great what Justin is doing.”

Read More