On lap 44, the 42-year-first old’s Cup Series race ended when he crashed.
Kimi Räikkönen, a former Formula One world champion, had his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series cut short on Sunday after he crashed in the final stage at Watkins Glen International.
When Räikkönen’s No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet got stuck in the bus-stop chicane on Lap 44 of the 90-lap race, his day was done. Contact was made, and the Iceman was pushed into the tire barrier.
Räikkönen’s first ever race was cut short due to damage to the No. 91 car. As a result, he placed 37th.
I had a good line there… unfortunately I had no time to react,” Raikkonen told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman. At the moment of initial impact, the wheels were already spinning because someone had struck the tire or the wheels directly.
After qualifying on Saturday, Räikkönen, the Formula One champion from 2007, started the day in 27th place. On Sunday, he had a personal best placing of ninth in the race.
Given his track record in Formula One, it’s no surprise that the 42-year-old was one of the more intriguing competitors at Watkins Glen. During his 19-year career, he won 21 Grand Prix races and finished on the podium 103 times before calling it quits in 2021.
When Denny Hamlin said he didn’t think Räikkönen would be a contender to win Sunday’s penultimate regular season race, it caused quite a stir.
Although the former F1 champion did not play a significant role in the competition, he did report enjoying his time back on the track.
Fun, as Räikkönen put it. Over time, my self-assurance grew, and I was able to have some successful fights. It seemed like the car had a lot of speed under the hood, but I guess that’s just the way it is.
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