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F1 Champion Jenson Button Makes NASCAR Cup Debut at COTA

Button will race the #15 Rick Weir Racing Ford Mustang at COTA with the support of Stewart Haas Racing. 2007 F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen in third Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet.

This will be Button’s first appearance in any NASCAR division, and comes months before he is scheduled to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Next Gen Cup car provided by Hendrick Motorsports. There, Button will share a car with Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller for his first Endurance Classic challenge since 2018.

In addition to the Cup Series’ first road course race of the season at COTA on March 26th, he will be participating in the inaugural Chicago Street Course race on July 12th and Indianapolis Motor Speed ​​​​on August 13th. I plan to return to the Way Road course.

Button took part in all eight Grands Prix at Indy between 2000 and 2007, but never finished better than eighth in 2002 with Renault. In the infamous 2005 race, he finished third in a race infamous for all 14 of his Michelin runners failing to start due to tire problems. -Up.

His best finish at COTA from five F1 starts was fifth place in 2012.

Since leaving F1 full-time at the end of 2016, Button has won the 2018 Super GT Championship and has competed in a wide variety of events including DTM, British GT and Extreme E. 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

“I was able to stay in F1 for so long because I felt like I was learning all the time,” said Button.

“There was always something new when it came to technology and I was able to improve my driving and engineering skills within F1.

“When I went into my 17th year in Formula 1, I felt like I lost a little bit of that hunger because it wasn’t new anymore. I didn’t learn anything new.

Jenson Button, Rick Weir Racing Ford Mustang

Photo courtesy of Truspeed Public Relations

“Being away from F1 gave me the opportunity to try different exciting series.In Japan I raced in Super GT.I also raced at Le Mans. It was just another skill to learn.”

“That’s not your full skill set, so it puts you in a slightly vulnerable position.

“I love the challenge of driving something new. It’s a little out of my comfort zone and I discovered it on the off-road track.

“Obviously, racing in a Cup car is very different from what I am used to: a lot more weight, a lot less power and basically no downforce.

“We have a sequential gearbox where we have to blip the throttle, so there is a lot to learn in a very short amount of time.

“But I’m excited about that new challenge. When I’m immersed in something, I’m 100% in. I’m not just doing it for one-off fun.

“I want to be competitive. I know it takes a little while to be competitive. .”

COTA also Seasoned Sports Car Racer Jordan Taylor’s NASCAR Cup DebutThe Le Mans class winner and IMSA Sportscar Championship winner will stand in for the injured Chase Elliott in the #9 Hendrick Chevrolet. F1 Champion Jenson Button Makes NASCAR Cup Debut at COTA

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