Jenson Button to make NASCAR Cup Series debut

F1 champion set to run three NASCAR races

Jenson Button dipped his toes in the NASCAR water via the Garage 56 entry. He’ll race the machine in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The first time I jumped into the Garage 56 car, it was like, ‘What have I done? This is so different,’ and that lasted about four laps,” Button said in a release. “Then it was like, ‘Hang on, it’s still a race car. It’s got four tires that touch the road. It’s a mechanical race car, which is even better for learning.’ I’ve really enjoyed the challenge.

“A Cup car has a lot less downforce and is a lot heavier, but the Garage 56 car has given me an idea of what it will be like along with a direction, which is really useful. I know in my first race I’m not expected to be qualifying right at the front and I’m not expected to be fighting for a victory. I have a lot of respect for the drivers racing in the Cup Series. There’s so much talent there, whether it’s on ovals or road courses.”

Now, he’s set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut. His first of three races will take place at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The 43-year-old will drive the No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang fielded by Rick Ware Racing. The driver will race COTA, the Chicago Street Course and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Per a team release, marketing and promotional support is being facilitated by Stewart-Haas Racing. Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor of the machine.

Jenson Button comments

“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to,” Button said in a team press release.

“It’s a lot heavier with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce. 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.”

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

“I live in the States now, so I’ve looked at races in NASCAR,” Button told NBC Sports ahead of this announcement. “It’s not something I’m educated in in terms of ovals of experience there. So the road course is always something I’d like to aim for in racing. So this [Garage 56] is a perfect step into NASCAR.”

Button has 15 Formula One wins. He spent 17 years in on the world tour, claiming the 2009 world championship.

Tony Stewart comments

“It’s always a challenge to try a new racing discipline, and the best thing you can bring to a new opportunity like this is an open mind,” Stewart said in a release.

“Jenson has been doing that his entire career. Those F1 cars evolve every year, and Jenson always found a way to adapt. And when he got out of F1, he jumped into sports cars and won another championship. He’s even done off-road.”

Stewart added, “There’s very little that he hasn’t experienced in a race car. He’s new to NASCAR, but he’s not new to racing. This is going to be fun for all of us, and we’re very appreciative of Mobil 1 for making it happen.”

Jenson Button
NASCAR Schedule

March 26, 2023

July 2, 2023
Chicago Street Course

August 13, 2023
Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Jenson Burton
2023 NASCAR Livery
Jenson Button - 2023 NASCAR race car
Jenson Button – 2023 NASCAR race car

Jenson Button | Tony Stewart | Rick Ware Racing | Stewart-Haas Racing | COTA | NASCAR