NASCAR's Daniel Suarez Issues A Strong Warning To New Teammate Kimi Räikkönen

There are traditional sports and then NASCAR. In a league where every driver seeks a tactical advantage over the rest of the field, the need for speed will only get you so far. When it comes to the sport, "Rubbin' Racing" is, but that's just a drop in the bucket of the great effort that drivers will put in when the race is at stake. It's all about the handles and the convergence of machine and human error, as true Wheelmen rely on battle-hardened instincts and always have their finger on the pulse of their vehicles. Now, with Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen just days away from making his NASCAR debut with the Trackhouse Racing Team at Watkins Glen International, Daniel Suarez, NASCAR race winner and one of the featured drivers of the upcoming USA Network series, delivered “ Race for the Championship', both offering a few words of encouragement to the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion and some cautionary tales.
Suarez, who was with Raikkonen in last week's Select Driver Orientation Test at Virginia International Raceway, told Motorsport.com he was really impressed with how quickly the Finn was adjusting to and handling the next-gen car.
"It was good; it was short," Suarez told reporters. "I tried to learn as much as I could from him because he's a great racer."
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Suarez went on to point out how he believes the intangibles associated with the sport are what really make a good driver.
“I believe a racer isn't just great for the driving, I think it's just everything else around them. How he thinks and how open or closed he or she is.”
Still, Suarez, who recently won at Sonoma in June, made it clear that the real challenge for Raikkonen will be how other riders treat him on track, as crashes and cautions are an integral part of the league.
“It's different and he doesn't know all these drivers. He doesn't know how they race," Suarez said. "He doesn't know how aggressive they are, so that part is going to take a little while."
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Although fewer than last year, BuildingSpeed.com documented that there were 117 accidents in the 2021 season. Suarez also pointed out that Raikkonen will no doubt face logistical challenges during the race, such as: B. Pit stops, restarts and vehicle maintenance.
"That's the part that I think is going to be a process for him ... because he's never done it before."
Raikkonen's path to NASCAR dates back to Trackhouse's Project 91 initiative, which aims to expand the sport's global influence by integrating international racing talent into the Cup Series. In addition to Suarez, the Finn will also join Trackhouse racing veteran and two-time NASCAR Xfinity winner Ross Chastain at Watkins Glen International. It will be interesting to see how the 42-year-old Raikkonen adapts to the often aggressive tactical strategies of NASCAR racers, but if he's willing to learn, Suarez and Chastain could teach him a thing or two about Rubbin."
Catch all of this weekend's racing action on USA Network where the Xfinity Series race will take place on Saturday at 3pm. ET and Sunday's Cup Series race at 3 p.m. ET. You can also catch up on the action via the NBC Sports app and Peacock. And don't forget to catch Daniel Suarez and a host of NASCAR stars in the new 10-episode USA Network series, Race for the Championship, premiering September 1st.

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