When Project 91 was first announced by Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing, a lot of fan speculation broke out as to who could possibly join the team for a one-off and pilot the No. 91 car.
Drivers such as NASCAR legend-turned INDYCAR driver, Jimmie Johnson were rumored from the beginning and many close to the situation have hinted that negotiations even took place. But with JJ returning as co-owner of the newly rebranded LEGACY Motor Club, the rumors were stopped dead in its tracks.
With Kimi Raikkonen having some NASCAR experience with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and their short-lived Xfinity Series program, he was an easy second choice. Raikkonen would drive the No. 91 Chevy at Watkins Glen in 2022 and then again at COTA in 2023. He scored his best finish at the latter where he came home 29th after showing some speed early on but constantly getting run over on restarts.
With all of that in mind, we at the Daily Downforce thought it would be fun to fantasize about who else would be a good fit for the third Trackhouse entry this year and for the years to come. Check it out:
Yes, yes, I know. Tony Stewart retired from NASCAR in 2016 and now has ties to Ford and Dodge which would make it practically and impossibility for him to drive this Project 91 Trackhouse ride. I get it. But this is my list and, personally, I’d love to see it.
Just because Stewart retired from NASCAR back in 2016 doesn’t mean he’s done racing. He’s still a frequent competitor in dirt racing and this year will be his third stint running fulltime in the SRX Series. He’s also running fulltime in NHRA’s Top-Alcohol division.
The man is a racer at heart and it wouldn’t hurt to see him return to NASCAR where he’s won 3 Cup Series titles in his celebrated career. Back in 2020 there were rumors (and even t-shirts mocked up, if I’m not mistaken) that Tony Stewart would be returning for a one-off race driving a #14 Ford Mustang in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series at the inaugural race at the Indianapolis Road Course.
Needless to say, this never happened…but what if Justin Marks could somehow convince Smoke to come out of retirement one last time in front of his hometown crowd?
With his deep ties to former NASCAR owner, Chip Ganassi, it’s a wonder why Scott Dixon has never at least attempted NASCAR before. Even through the open wheel invasion of the mid-to-late 2000s and early 2010s, he stayed loyal to his open wheel roots. Still, it’d be fun to see him in a NASCAR stock car someday.
With Trackhouse racing essentially being the spiritual successor of Chip Ganassi Racing, we think he’d fit right in.
You may not know this but Lewis Hamilton has driven a NASCAR stockcar before. It was at Watkins Glen where he swapped rides with NASCAR champion, Tony Stewart. The experience seemed to be great fun for both parties and drummed up some nice publicity for both NASCAR and F1.
Unfortunately, Hamilton would never race in full-on competition. What if Justin Marks gave him that chance?
While Ryan Hunter-Reay has some racing experience in stockcars as he raced full-time in the SRX in 2022, he has never raced in NASCAR. Like Scott Dixon, he was and always has been (until very recently) an INDYCAR loyalist.
After doing it all in the world of American open-wheel racing, the 2012 Champ and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner has never been put to the test in a NASCAR stockcar. It somehow just doesn’t seem right.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya is one of the greatest drivers to ever grace any governing body. He has won in everything. You name it. NASCAR, check. INDYCAR, check. IMSA, check. Even Formula One, check. There’s nothing he can’t do or hasn’t done.
With him still to the day making the occasional one-off at the Indianapolis 500, wouldn’t it be cool to see him come back to NASCAR one last time? Maybe even in the streets of Chicago? Or Sonoma, where he got his first NASCAR Cup Series win? Justin Marks, Pitbull…please make this happen! We’re begging you!
That’s our list, what’s yours? Let us know who you would like to see take the #Project91 challenge next!