Raikkonen crashes out of NASCAR return

Kimi Raikkonen completed 44 laps on his return to NASCAR before he was punted into the barriers and out of the race at Watkins Glen.

The 2007 world champion was making a one-off appearance in the series, driving for Trackhouse Racing’s Project91 team, which has been set up to bring international drivers to NASCAR.

Raikkonen qualified 27th in the 39-car field and was running as high as eighth after the race started in wet conditions.

He began the final Stage of the race in 22nd but found himself on the outside of a wheel-to-wheel battle with Ross Chastain, Austin Dillon and Loris Hezemans, which forced him off the track and into the barriers.

“I don’t know what happened in front of the car,” Raikkonen was quoted by Racer. “I had a good line going there. They all pushed, kind of, right inside.

“I kept [a] tight line. When they told me that someone spun in front of the cars everybody kind of came left and hit me on the side. There was nothing I could have done.

“The first hit on my car spun the wheel in my hands. Something went wrong in the wrist, but I will fix it when I get back home. It’s a part of the game.”

Raikkonen, who raced in NASCAR’s truck and nationwide series during his sabbatical from F1 in 2011, said he enjoyed his return to stock car racing.

“I have nothing against it,” the 42-year-old Raikkonen said. “It was all good and they were very nice and helpful. We just ended up at the wrong place.

“I felt we had very good speed, especially after the pit stops, but maybe I was a bit too harsh on tyres on one of the sets.”

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