2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button is set to make his NASCAR debut later this month with him pencilled in to complete in three Cup Series races, starting at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in a couple of weeks from now.
Button has embarked on a number of motorsport challenges since retiring from F1. Indeed, he made it clear when leaving the paddock that he wanted to keep racing and explore other disciplines, and that is set to continue in 2023 as he gets to grips with one of the most exciting motorsport championships the world has to offer.
Jenson Button to drive in three NASCAR races
The NASCAR series is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and the current campaign is three races old, with the DAYTONA 500 kicking us off, as is tradition, in mid-February.
Button is set to make his NASCAR bow at COTA, then, with it a track he’ll be familiar with from his F1 days, whilst he’ll compete in two more NASCAR events later on this year – the inaugural street course race in Chicago in July, and the road course race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August – the latter of which he also has experience of thanks to his F1 past.
Button is not the only former F1 champ to be competing in NASCAR this year, either, with Kimi Raikkonen set to make another appearance in the series after driving at Watkins Glen last year. The Flying Finn will also be driving at COTA, competing for Trackhouse Racing as he did in 2022.
Jenson Button discusses NASCAR entry
Speaking about the opportunity, Button said:
“Two F1 world champions in a NASCAR race. Who would have ever predicted that?
“A lot of people think I’m crazy for doing this because it’s so different, but that’s why I love the challenge of it. For me, it’s not about how quick the car is, it’s about how close the racing can be.
“In the Cup Series, the racing is awesome. It’s definitely going to be a shock to the system, but a toe in the water, so to speak, and hopefully help me be more competitive the next time I do it.”
The Briton will drive the No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing, though it is not the only NASCAR-related endeavour he’ll be involved in this year.
Button will also drive for the special Garage 56 project at the Le Mans 24 Hours alongside Mike Rockenfeller and NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson, as NASCAR heads back to the Circuit de la Sarthe in the summer – though that has no relation to this trio of Cup Series races Button has planned.