Trackhouse Racing announced Tuesday the creation of PROJECT91, a program that will see the team field a part-time NASCAR Cup Series car for "renowned international racing drivers." In a press release, Trackhouse stated they would field the new No. 91 Chevrolet "at least once" in 2022, with plans to expand the program in the future.
The No. 91 will serve as a team car to the No. 1 driven by Ross Chastain and the No. 99 driven by Daniel Suarez, and will serve as a platform that makes Trackhouse a "destination" for global stars from other racing disciplines who are eager to try their hand at NASCAR.
The program's first driver and race will be announced in the coming days.
"PROJECT91's mission is to activate the intersection point of NASCAR racing and global motorsport culture," team owner Justin Marks said in a press release. "I truly believe the NexGen car represents an opportunity for NASCAR to enter the global professional motorsport conversation. We now have a race vehicle with international technological relevance where world-class drivers from other disciplines can compete at NASCAR's highest level without the steep learning curve that the previous generation cars required.
"... With the formation of PROJECT91, Trackhouse has opened the door for global champions while beginning the process of scaling into an internationally recognized racing brand."
In the late 2000s, there had been a brief boom in international talent entering NASCAR that included Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier and others before the sport began to draw more from its traditional domestic talent pool. The most recent Formula 1 champion to compete in NASCAR, for instance, was Kimi Raikkonen in a pair of one-off starts in 2011.
Co-owned by Justin Marks and "Mr. Worldwide," famed singer Pitbull, Trackhouse Racing is currently the lone NASCAR Cup Series team that employs a driver from outside the United States. Daniel Suarez, who began racing in his native Mexico before moving to the United States to come through NASCAR's ladder system, drives the team's No. 99.