Trackhouse Racing opened a third car to provide international drivers an opportunity who want to get their feet wet in NASCAR. Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to have this honor at Watkins Glen International.
However, the organization plans on running more races with the No. 91 car in 2023. Let’s dive into the five best candidates to make select starts in the ride.
Multi-time international champion Kamui Kobayashi
Kamui Kobayashi is a Japanese racing driver who has won many international championships, such as the 2019-2020 and 2021 FIA World Endurance championships, the 2008-2009 GP2 Asia Series championship, and two Formula 2 titles.
American fans would know Kobayashi from his incredible driving in the Rolex 24 as Jimmie Johnson’s teammate. The 36-year-old driver is known for his aggressive driving which brings him to another level.
There have been very few Japanese Cup Series drivers over the years and it would be refreshing to see Kobayashi bring in a new audience and be an inspiration to many fans.
Kobayashi has experience in similar cars due to his Rolex 24 experience and it would be a pretty cool opportunity for everyone involved to see him flash his talents at a road course.
Indianapolis 500 legend Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves is one driver that has already been linked to the No. 91 car as the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion is nearing a deal to compete in select Camping World SRX races and the 2023 Daytona 500.
Castroneves, 47, has won the Indianapolis 500 four times (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) as stated above, and has 25 victories in his 22 years of being in the NTT IndyCar Series. The 47-year-old has also finished as the runner-up in the championship four times (2002, 2008, 2013, 2014).
The driver has been linked to Trackhouse Racing and The Money Team Racing which is owned by Floyd Mayweather. If Castroneves wants to join an exclusive list of Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 winners, Trackhouse Racing is his best bet.
It would be a major story if the organization could pull off Raikkonen and Castroneves as the first two drivers of the No. 91 car. It will continue to be a story to monitor in the coming months.
Red Bull third driver Daniel Ricciardo to Trackhouse Racing
Daniel Ricciardo is a 33-year-old Formula 1 reserve driver for Red Bull that has been a staple of the series since his breakout during the 2014 season. This is before he left Red Bull for Alpine after dueling with Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo has embraced the American culture at races, such as Circuit of the Americas and Miami, and would be a brilliant fit for the Trackhouse’s No. 91 car after his departure from Formula 1.
The 33-year-old Australian driver has previously said he won’t rule out giving NASCAR a shot one day. It would be a logical fit and bring excitement to the Cup Series grid.
However, this would most likely be a post-Formula 1 career opportunity which could be several years away. The dream is definitely alive for the self-proclaimed NASCAR fan, but as he said, stock cars are a different beast.
Formula 1 legend Sebastian Vettel brings his talents to NASCAR
Sebastian Vettel is a 35-year-old former Formula 1 driver who is considered one of the best drivers in series history. Vettel has 53 total victories along with his spectacular four consecutive titles.
Vettel recently expressed his desire for Formula 1 to race at Road America and that could be the perfect destination if he wanted to make his NASCAR debut.
The 35-year-old driver’s full-time racing career is likely over. and he has already been offered an IndyCar test drive at Road America. So, Trackhouse Racing should at least extend an offer.
Vettel was asked about NASCAR in 2009 and his response was “you should never say never.” There’s certainly a possibility and it would be an earth-shattering grab for the organization.
Trackhouse Racing pulls Valentino Rossi from Moto GP
Valentino Rossi is widely considered one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. Rossi has compiled 115 wins and remains the only driver to win the 125, 250, 500, and MotoGP World Championships.
Rossi also has an outstanding nine World Championship titles. Needless to say, it’s not surprising why the 43-year-old driver has found his way onto this list.
Some might say the transition from motorcycle racing to the Cup Series would be an impossible step; however, Rossi has been racing four-wheel cars in the GT World Challenge Europe and has the desire to race them.
The nine-time World Champion would be a brilliant addition to the Trackhouse Racing No. 91 team for a few races. There might not be a more accomplished driver and it would certainly make headlines across the world.