Raikkonen to make racing return in NASCAR with Trackhouse

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Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 12, 2021 Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen after his last ever F1 race Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

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May 26 (Reuters) - Former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen will return to racing when the Finnish driver makes his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen in August.

Raikkonen, the world champion with Ferrari in 2007, retired from F1 at the end of 2021 after 19 seasons, making his final appearance with Alfa Romeo at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 42-year-old will drive a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the Team Trackhouse squad for the NASCAR Cup road course race at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 21.

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Team Trackhouse, owned by ex-racer Justin Marks and popular rapper Pitbull, are targeting more drivers from outside NASCAR to take over one of their cars as part of an initiative called 'Project 91'.

"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 in a news release.

"This will be fun, but it's something I will take very seriously. I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup Series is and it will be a big challenge."

Raikkonen has two NASCAR starts to his name — in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, both in 2011 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis

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