Every NASCAR Cup Series driver wears a series patch on the suit; Past Cup champions use a special patch, which Villeneuve is also using by accident
Jacques Villeneuve has made four NASCAR Cup Series starts in his career. The famed driver is a former F1 series champion as well as an Indy 500 winner.
Hear from Villeneuve below.
The 50-year-old driver has made just four NASCAR Cup Series starts in his career with his last coming in 2013. He has a best finish of 29th which he claimed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2010.
This year, the game has changed. The Next Gen car has significantly leveled the playing field, across the board. The spec chassis is identical from team to team.
Villeneuve is on the entry list with Team Hezeberg, a brand new team.
He’s one of six drivers competing without a NASCAR charter. Two of those non-charter cars will not make the Daytona 500. However, Villeneuve isn’t one of those. Following qualifying, Villeneuve had already locked himself into Sunday’s race.
The driver is walking around the grounds with a ‘NASCAR Cup Series champion’ patch on his suit. That’s a patch that’s reserved for the former Cup champions in the field. That’s an accident…
Villeneuve explains his NASCAR champion patch
“Everything was last minute, Jacques Villeneuve told Bob Pockrass.
“I told them, ‘Can you make the suit? Do you have all the right patches?’ ”
They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about it, we’ll put everything…’ “
Villeneuve added, “I get here and I thought that was the patch everybody had. Yeah, that was a little bit embarrassing. I should have added F1 in front of it, or something.”
In Thursday’s Duel races, Villeneuve was seen with a piece of black tape over the ‘Champion’ portion of the patch.
Villeneuve talks the NASCAR Next Gen car
“It’s a completely different car,” Villeneuve stated.
“It’s a car that’s gone toward a GT car. It’s got a flat bottom, a defuser in the back. A big underbody aero platform.”
“Cars like this, you have to run them super stiff so the car doesn’t move around too much, the aero balance is stable.”
Villeneuve added, “You’ve gone from a car that could run soft to a car that’s super stiff and bounces all around on the track. You can’t keep your head on the headrest for a whole lap because you’ll get a headache.”