The 2007 world champion navigated by means of his first Cup Sequence follow and qualifying classes on Saturday at Watkins Glen with none on-track incidents and will line up 27th for Sunday’s race.
His fellow worldwide Cup debutants, 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Mike Rockenfeller (Spire Chevrolet) and fellow ex-F1 racer Daniil Kvyat (Hezeberg Toyota), will begin 33rd and 36th respectively.
Whereas he was not in competition for pole on his first outing in a motorsport occasion since his last F1 outing in final yr’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Raikkonen confirmed strong race tempo and his largest grievance was he would have favored extra monitor time.
“I want there had been extra laps, it simply felt like there may be a number of potential,” stated the Finn, who’s campaigning the #91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet.
“I’m unsure which line to take and simply not sufficient laps to place every little thing collectively. However yeah, it was enjoyable.
“Various what I form of anticipated after the simulator. Clearly, there’s at all times a distinction however the effective knowledge isn’t proven within the simulator.
“At the very least I knew the monitor, however I feel, yeah, I wanted to be a bit extra higher in just a few locations. Some locations I believed I used to be fairly okay.
“However you recognize, it’s good. I didn’t count on something and we’re considerably within the center, so it’s okay.”
Picture by: Mission91
Raikkonen’s look in a Cup Sequence race is a part of Trackhouse Racing’s Mission 91 initiative which is seeking to broaden NASCAR’s attain by introducing gifted worldwide racing drivers to the collection.
To arrange for this weekend’s race, the 42-year-old introduced his whole household to the USA for a number of weeks to immerse himself within the expertise.
Throughout that point he’s finished simulator work, pushed in iRacing occasions, participated in pitstop follow on the Trackhouse store and lately took half in his “Choose Driver Orientation Check” at Virginia Worldwide Raceway.
Requested why he would threat potential “failure” in transferring to a special type of motorsports, Raikkonen dismissed the suggestion.
“I don’t see any threat. Why not?” he stated.
“What do I’ve to lose? That I‘ve finished dangerous in a NASCAR race or dangerous in any race? I don’t care. I do it for myself.
“Good or dangerous consequence, it may occur even when I did 20 races. All of them could possibly be dangerous for a lot of totally different causes.
“I don’t see something detrimental, I feel it’s nice.
“I’m certain there’s a number of drivers that want to have an opportunity and check out, but it surely’s not very simple. So, perhaps it opens some doorways that in future there’s extra likelihood to attempt to get extra Europeans.”
Picture by: Mission91
Raikkonen stated his remaining focus in getting ready for Sunday’s race was to turn out to be accustomed to NASCAR guidelines.
“, not making any foolish errors on that aspect, hopefully, and we’ll see what we will do with the automobile,” he stated.
“We had a little bit little bit of an thought from the place we began and the place we went and perhaps someplace midway is healthier, and you recognize, we attempt to enhance.
“I need to have enjoyable, but additionally do in addition to we will.”