Jenson Button announced Thursday that he will enter three NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023 behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford for Rick Ware Racing with support from Stewart-Haas Racing and Mobil 1. Button, the 2009 Formula One world champion and one of the top British drivers of his generation, will make his debut at Circuit of the Americas before also running the Chicago Street Course and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course later this year.
Button, 43, tries his hand at NASCAR for the first time after becoming an F1 great over the course of the 2000s and early 2010s. Button earned 15 Grand Prix victories in his career with 15 podiums, and his crowning achievement came in 2009 when he won the World Championship driving for Brawn GP. Button retired from F1 at the end of the 2016 season, and he has since raced in GT competition and the World Endurance Championship.
Button had previously been announced as one of three drivers for NASCAR's Garage 56 entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he will team up with Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.
With the help of @Mobil1Racing, @JensonButton is pursuing a new challenge: NASCAR. pic.twitter.com/Bh6dU9zCPL— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) March 9, 2023
"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. 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," Button said in a statement. "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 is the latest international racing star to cross over into NASCAR, and he will be the second former F1 champion in the field in at Circuit of the Americas. 2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen announced Wednesday that he would race at COTA for Trackhouse Racing's Project91 after previously driving for the team at Watkins Glen last August.
Button raced in the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas five times during his F1 career, posting a best finish of fifth in the inaugural event in 2012.