NASCAR: Who is Trackhouse’s new driver for Chicago?

Kimi Raikkonen, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kimi Raikkonen, Trackhouse Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Trackhouse Racing Team will welcome a new driver to the team for the first ever NASCAR Cup Series race on the streets of Chicago.

Trackhouse Racing Team recently announced that Shane van Gisbergen is set to drive the PROJECT91 entry in the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at the Chicago Street Course.

Last year, the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team began an initiative called PROJECT91, which is a third entry, alongside the team’s two full-time entries, designed to give renowned international starts the chance to compete in select Cup Series races.

The No. 91 Chevrolet made its debut last August at Watkins Glen International with Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel, and Raikkonen returned in March for the race at Circuit of the Americas, a venue at which he had competed on multiple occasions — and won — in Formula 1.

This coming Sunday afternoon’s race PROJECT91’s third NASCAR Cup Series race.

The Grant Park 220 at the 12-turn, 2.2-mile (3.541-kilometer) temporary street circuit in Chicago, Illinois is also set to mark the first time somebody other than Raikkonen has driven the No. 91 Chevrolet.

Van Gisbergen is a three-time Australian Supercars champion with 76 career victories in the series, so he is certainly more than capable of performing well on courses with left and right turns, especially one at which nobody has any experience whatsoever. Sunday’s 100-lap race is, after all, the first ever Cup Series street race.

The fact that the Next Gen car is actually somewhat similar to the cars with which the 34-year-old New Zealander is familiar should bode well, as should the fact that he is set to make his Cup Series debut with a team more than capable of winning. Trackhouse Racing Team won two road course races last year, one with Ross Chastain and one with Daniel Suarez.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering NASCAR fans who place a single $5 bet an instant $150, lists van Gisbergen’s odds to win the race at +5500.

PROJECT91’s upcoming schedule beyond this weekend has not yet been announced.

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The Grant Park 220 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Chicago Street Course starting at 5:30 p.m. ET this coming Sunday, July 2. Be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!