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Kimi Raikkonen to drive Project 91 car at COTA

Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, and Marty Snider recap William Byron's big win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in dominating fashion for Hendrick Motorsports, who also had Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman round out the podium.

Kimi Raikkonen is returning to NASCAR -- and with Trackhouse Racing.

Trackhouse announced Wednesday that Raikkonen will drive its Project 91 car for the second time. He will race in the Cup Series event March 26 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Trackhouse chose Raikkonen for the debut of the Project 91 car last year at Watkins Glen International, where he finished 37th in the Cup race after being involved in an accident.

Trackhouse owner Justin Marks created the Project 91 program last year to offer drivers with international racing experience and success a chance to race in NASCAR events.

“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” Raikkonen said in a statement released by the team. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful. The competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with, so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun but also do as well as we can.”

Raikkonen has raced eight times at COTA in Formula 1 events. He scored one of his 21 F1 victories at the track -- in 2018.

“When we announced Kimi last year, I said he was the global superstar I had in mind when we created Project 91,” Marks said in a statement released by the team. “I think you saw the fan reception across the world, and Kimi’s performance in the car was proof of the concept.”

Raikkonen raced in the top 10 at Watkins Glen before being swept into an accident.

Raikkonen test-drove the 91 car prior to the Watkins Glen race. The team said no tests are scheduled prior to COTA.

Darian Grubb will lead the team as crew chief.

A native of Finland, Raikkonen retired from F1 in 2021.