Kimi Raikkonen is set to appear in NASCAR for the first time in 12 years when he takes part in the Go Bowling at the Glen event at Watkins Glen in August.
After 21 race victories and a world championship in Formula 1, the Finn hung up his boots at the end of last season following three years with Alfa Romeo, and he became team principal of the Kawasaki Motorcross team in January.
He could not stay away from the wheel of a race car for long though, and he has struck a deal with Trackhouse Racing to race as part of their Project 91, and he will be driving a Chevrolet Camaro at the event.
Watkins Glen is one of seven road courses featured in NASCAR, along with other famous venues such as Mid-Ohio and Road America, which Sebastian Vettel has recently said he would love F1 to travel to one day.
Raikkonen divulged that he had discussions with Trackhouse owner Justin Marks, who “sold the whole thing well.”
“We had more talks about it, how would it work, where the race would be, and all sorts of other things,” said the 42-year-old, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“There’s a lot of things involved, and it all made sense for me.
“It’s one race, so it made sense for all of us as a family. I always enjoyed it when I had my few races [in the United States].
“Hopefully we have a good race and good fun. Obviously it’s a new car and I’ve never been at the track. But I’m sure we can figure it out.”
The 2007 F1 champion did have other ventures available to him, but this is the one that made the most sense.
“There were obviously options to do more this year, but I think it all came a bit too quickly, to try to do it as well as we can on all the sides,” added Raikkonen.
“I think it was better to wait until this race, so we can prepare for everything and at least have done the work 100% right and what the outcome is, nobody knows.
“We’ll at least give ourselves the best chance that we can.”
Raikkonen competed in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series in NASCAR in 2011, and contested one race in each of them.
He finished 27th at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Nationwide, while ending 15th and in the points at the same venue in the Truck series.
His NASCAR exploits coincided with his World Rally appearances during his time away from F1 in 2010 and 2011, and he managed 11 top 10 finishes in that series with Citroen and ICE 1, which was a subsidiary of the French motoring giants.
The possibilities are seemingly endless for the Iceman, but he admits he has no idea what comes after his appearance in NASCAR later this year.
“What comes after that? I don’t know, nobody knows,” stated Raikkonen.
“We’ll try to do a good race there and enjoy it, and see what the future brings. I have no other plans.
“That’s what I have right now, and we’ll go from there.”
Raikkonen will get a chance to test out the Chevrolet car before racing in August alongside Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.