Monday, Jun 05

Kimi Räikkönen Project 91 COTA NASCAR Race Advance

2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen will make his second NASCAR Cup Series start on Sunday driving the No. 91 Onx/iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

Although it will mark his first time in a race car in 2023, the Espoo, Finland native has two factors in his favor this weekend.

He knows the COTA circuit as well as anyone on the planet. 

One of Räikkönen’s 21 Formula One victories, and most recent, came at COTA on Oct. 21, 2018, when he led 39 laps on his way to victory driving for Scuderia Ferrari. He’s raced eight times on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course.

He’s also joining the right NASCAR team.

His Trackhouse Racing teammate Ross Chastain notched his first career victory at COTA last year when he passed two cars in the final corners before taking the checkered flag. His other Trackhouse Racing teammate Daniel Suárez dominated early in the COTA race leading all 15 laps of the first stage before a cut tire and power steering loss ended his victory bid.

“Obviously, it’s helpful that I know the track,” said Räikkönen. “Now the F1 car and a NASCAR Cup car are slightly different (smiling) in how they feel when you go around it. I need to remember there’s a lot less downforce when I go around the first time coming out of the pits.”

Räikkönen became the first driver to join the Trackhouse team’s PROJECT91 program when he raced at Watkins Glen in August of 2022. That day Räikkönen used his skills in the rain to climb into the top-10 before a late race accident ended his race. 

“Last year was a great experience,” said Räikkönen. “Unfortunately, the result wasn’t what we were looking for because we got caught up in a wreck, but that’s part of racing. I am excited to have another go and hopefully we will stay out of any big issues. This will be tricky for sure, but the further we go in the weekend the easier it gets. At least I have an idea of how we can approach the weekend. I think we did a good job last year. Is the car going to give us a better result? I don’t know, I hope so.”

PROJECT91 was created last year by Trackhouse Founder and Owner Justin Marks with the goal to expand the organization’s international reach by fielding a NASCAR Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers. Marks thought of the idea years ago when he was a part-time driver in NASCAR and full-time competitor in sports car racing. 

“We had a great event last year and left Watkins Glen wanting a little bit more, so I am glad we could put this weekend together,” said Marks. “Kimi is a world class talent and its been a pleasure to have him join our team. He’s been everything we could hope for and I think we have showed him how competitive, professional and fun NASCAR racing really is these days.”

Trackhouse Racing fields the No. 99 and the No. 1 Chevrolets for Suárez and Chastain. The Trackhouse drivers combined to win three races in 2022 and have continued that success in 2023 with both drivers in the top-10 in the standings after five races this season.

Räikkönen retired from Formula One in 2021 after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Alfa Romeo teams since he started in 2001. He won 21 races and stood on 103 podiums in his F1 career.

His Formula One highlight came in 2007 when he won the F1 World Driving title for Scuderia Ferrari.

Räikkönen will race the No. 91 Onx/iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro at COTA fielded by a Trackhouse crew led by 23-time winning crew chief Darian Grubb who won a Cup Series title with Tony Stewart in 2011. 

Räikkönen will have a little bit of time to get re-acclimated as the Cup Series with practice for a 50-minute on Friday before a qualifying session on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Sunday's race in COTA begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT & 7:30 p.m. GMT on Sunday. 


Kimi Räikkönen and Justin Marks will be in the COTA media center at 9 a.m. CDT Saturday for media availability.


Watch Kimi Räikkönen and Justin Marks discuss his NASCAR return.



     No. 91 Trackhouse Team Roster


Founder: Justin Marks, Rocklin, California

President: Ty Norris, Sumter, South Carolina

Driver: Kimi Räikkönen, Espoo, Finland

Crew Chief: Darian Grubb, Floyd, Virginia

Car Chief: Gary Putnam, Vernon, Connecticut

Spotter: Keith Barnwell, Hudson, North Carolina

Engine Builder: ECR Engines, Welcome, North Carolina

Engine Tuner: Jason Watkins, Ridgeway, Virginia

Interior: Shane Callis, Adelaide, Australia

Mechanic: Eric Hoyle, Asheville, North Carolina.

Truck Driver: Dan Collins, Columbus, Ohio

Engineer: Zac Brown, Eolia, Missouri

Fueler: J.P. Kelley, Luray, Virginia

Front Tire Changer: Kenyatta (Kap) Houston, Mooresville, N.C.

Rear Tire Changer: J.P. Kealey, Ottawa, Canada

Jackman: Aslan Pugh, Wilmington, Delaware

Tire Carrier: Brendan Foley, Baltimore, Maryland


Team Owner Justin Marks

Marks Business Career

  • Marks, 41, is the founder and team owner of Trackhouse Entertainment Group and Trackhouse Racing.
  • He is a co-manager of Marks Family Foundation, with several different philanthropic endeavors. The family, led by father Michael Marks, has been a highly successful private equity leader in the Silicon Valley for years.
  • Before Trackhouse Racing, Marks opened the GoPro Motorplex (go kart) racing facility near Charlotte in late 2012. He entered race team ownership at lower levels, including a venture with late owner Harry Scott in NASCAR’s lower rungs, as well as a World of Outlaws team.
  • Marks moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2020 to set up the corporate headquarters for Trackhouse Racing.
  • The team competed as a single car team with Daniel Suárez in 2021 with its cars housed at Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, North Carolina. 
  • The Trackhouse team won the 2021 NASCAR Diversity Team Award for its diversity in the sport and reaching out to new audiences. 
  • In June of 2021, Trackhouse announced the acquisition of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets, a move that secured two full-time NASCAR Cup Series entries and cleared the path for expansion.
  • In its first season as a multicar team in 2022 working out of its Concord, North Carolina race shop, Suárez and Ross Chastain won three races in 2022. Chastain finished second and Suárez 10th in the standings - both are career bests.
  • Marks won the 2022 National Motorsports Press Association’s (NMPA) Myers Brothers Award during the 2022 NASCAR Awards in Nashville. The award recognizes individuals and/or groups that have provided outstanding contributions to stock car racing.
  • Marks won the 2022 "Byrnsie Award" from Fox. The award was established to celebrate an individual in the NASCAR Cup Series who showcases the same principles as the late Steve Byrnes embodied — preparation, teamwork and family within the garage area.
  • He is an investor in the Music City (Nashville) Grand Prix Indycar race.
  • Marks along with Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton, purchased the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Tour in January. The professional Late Model and Late Model stock car grassroots series competes at local short tracks throughout the Southeast United States.
  • Marks now splits time between the North Carolina race shop and his home near Nashville where he and wife Erin are raising two daughters.

Racing Career

  • Marks has been a driver for nearly 20 years enjoying sports car success, including factory rides with Porsche, Acura and BMW.
  • Marks competed in six NASCAR Cup Series races with a best finish of 12th-place in the 2018 Daytona 500. He made 35 starts in the Xfinity Series posting a win, three top-five and seven top-10s.
  • Marks won the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13, 2016 driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
  • Marks competed in 39 races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series posting four top-10s and capturing two pole awards.
  • Marks joined four co-drivers in winning the 2009 Rolex 24 in the GT division.


Trackhouse Racing PR


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