Jenson Button Is Going NASCAR Racing
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 world champion and a 15-time F1 race winner, is going NASCAR racing, his new team announced Thursday.
Button will be racing part-time in the No. 15 of Rick Ware Racing, a full-time team that regularly works with Stewart-Haas Racing to run additional cars in conjunction with that more-successful team. This will be an SHR-supported, Mobil 1-sponsored program, set to enter three races in 2023. Each will be road courses, starting with the Cup Series race at the Circuit of the Americas in two weeks.
While the race at COTA will mark Button's official NASCAR debut, he has been testing a modified Next Gen-spec stock car as part of the Hendrick Motorsports Garage56 program set to go to Le Mans in June. Button will race that car alongside Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller, while Corvette Racing driver Jordan Taylor is consulting as the program's driving coach.
Now, most of that group is set to meet in a NASCAR race at COTA. Johnson, a seven-time series champion, is running a part-time NASCAR schedule for the Legacy Motor Club team he co-owns and will attempt to qualify to compete against Button. Jordan Taylor is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the same race, marking his NASCAR debut. While he has no connection to the Garage56 program, fellow Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen has also announced that he will return to Trackhouse Racing's Project 91 entry for his second career Cup Series start in that event.
Button's other two races with the program have also been announced. He will run both the street circuit at Chicago and the infield road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Since those two events are set to take place after his run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we can guess that Button's interest in NASCAR goes beyond preparing for Le Mans.
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