Formula One

Button signs up for NASCAR Cup Series debut at COTA!


Jenson Button will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this month, the Briton joining fellow F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen on the grid of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at COTA.

Supported by Mobil1, Button will also compete in the inaugural Chicago Street Race in early July 2 before culminating his three-race Cup Series slate on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course mid-August.

Button’s No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang will be fielded in all three races by Rick Ware Racing (RWR).

“I won the world championship with Mobil 1, and 14 of my 15 wins in Formula One were with Mobil 1, as well as winning the Super GT championship with them,” commented the former F1 driver.

“We’ve had a really close relationship over the years and I can’t think of a better partner,” Button said.

“Mobil 1 has been a big part of making these NASCAR races happen for me, so I’m very thankful to them for giving me this opportunity.

“I look forward to working alongside the brand to get the best out of every race weekend.”

After leaving F1, Button applied his skills in a diversity of series, winning in Super GT in Japan, racing at Le Mans and in off-road events. But the 43-year-old admits that taking to the track onboard a NASCAR beast will be a different challenge altogether.

“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to. It’s a lot heavier with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce,” he said.

“It’s got a sequential gearbox where you need to blip the throttle, so there’s lots of stuff to learn in a very short space of time.

“But I just get excited about that new challenge, and when I throw myself into something, I am 100 percent in.

“I’m not just doing it for fun in some one-off. I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive, it’s going to take a bit of time. That’s why doing these three races works very well this season.”

Button isn’t totally unfamiliar with NASCAR’s environment as the 15-time Grand Prix winner is part of the Garage 56 driver lineup that will compete in June in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Button – who will compete against the Trackhouse Racing PROJECT91 entry of Kimi Raikkonen at the Circuit of the Americas on March 26 – steered clear of making any bold predictions for his NASCAR debut.

“The most important thing for me is to enjoy it,” Button said. “I want to feel comfortable in the car knowing that I can get as much out of the car in any situation as other people out on track.

“The result is the result and we’ll see what happens, but I want to get the confidence to brake as late as I’d like, to carry the speed through the high-speed corners, and to be able to race close – wheel-to-wheel with the pack.”

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Button signs up for NASCAR Cup Series debut at COTA!

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