It was announced on Thursday, March 9 that Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Driver’s Champion, will be competing in three NASCAR Cup Series events this season, beginning with the Circuit of the Americas race on March 26.
Button is entered with Rick Ware Racing in the organization’s No. 15 Ford. Stewart-Haas Racing, which has a partnership with RWR that began last year, will also provide support for the Mobil 1 sponsored entry.
The 17-year F1 veteran will take on these duties in addition to his role in the Garage 56 program with NASCAR, Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports.
“The reason I was able to stay in Formula One for so long was because I always felt I was learning,” Button said. “There was always something new in terms of technologies, or I could still improve my driving or engineering skills within Formula One. When I got to my 17th year in F1, I felt like I lost that hunger a little bit because it wasn’t new anymore. There wasn’t something new to learn.
“Stepping away from F1 gave me the opportunity to try different series that excited me. I raced Super GT in Japan. I raced at Le Mans. I raced off-road because it was another skill to learn. You put yourself in a slightly vulnerable position because it’s not your complete skill set, and there’s still more to learn to be as good as the best. I love that challenge of driving new things.” It’s slightly out of my comfort zone, and I found that out with off-road trucks.”
The other two races that are on the Britain’s radar will be the July event at the Chicago street course and the race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August.
Button, a 15-time race winner in Formula 1 for Honda, Brawn GP, and McLaren, retired from the series following the 2016 season, save for a one-race return in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix with McLaren in a substitute role for Fernando Alonso, who was entered in the Indianapolis 500 instead.
“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to,” Button also said. “[…] 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.”
When not racing, Button also serves as both a co-commentator for Sky Sports on its F1…
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