Jenson Button on his future in NASCAR

Jenson Button finished P18 on his NASCAR Cup Series debut in March.

2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button is heading to Chicago next weekend to compete in his second of three NASCAR Cup Series races, after making his debut in March.

The former McLaren driver is competing in three races this season in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 15 Ford with support from Stewart-Haas Racing.

Button’s first NASCAR appearance came at the Circuit of the Americas in March, where he salvaged P18.

He was set for a significantly better result than 18th; however, a late flurry of yellow flags as well as an unwelcomed bout of heat exhaustion hampered his chances.

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Competing at COTA in NASCAR rather than F1 was certainly an experience for Button, who was left wanting more.

“I think for half the race at COTA, I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this again.’ But for the other half of the race, I thought, ‘This is awesome, just awesome,’ in terms of the racing, the wheel-to-wheel action and not giving an inch,” Button said Tuesday, as reported by

“I definitely enjoyed that, and it’s something you do miss in single-seaters, especially in Formula 1 because the amount of downforce you have, there isn’t so much wheel-to-wheel action. I feel I had more wheel-to-wheel action in the first lap of the race at COTA than I do in a whole grand prix.

“So, loads of emotions – positive and negative – at COTA. Does it make me want to do it more? Yeah.”

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All of Button’s appearances this season are to be at road and street courses, rather than ovals.

Button is keen to compete in a NASCAR oval race “one day” but is very aware that most of the grid have raced on ovals “since they were five or six years old”.

“It’s another world,” Button admitted.

“These guys have driven ovals since they were five or six years old. So, why would I be good there? I don’t know. It’s a possibility, but it’s a lot of work.

“It’s already enough getting used to driving such a big car for me, and the style of racing is a big step as well. Maybe one day. But I’m very happy and very lucky to be doing the three races I’m doing this year.”

Looking ahead to next weekend’s race in Chicago, Button is expecting it to be a “better” event for him, given that it’s a new venue for the series.

It means nobody will have experienced the venue before, meaning Button will enter the race with as much knowledge as everybody else.

In comparison, COTA was a venue which all the NASCAR drivers have plenty of experience of, with Button having simply been used to driving “within the white lines”.

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“At COTA, I felt like I’m not used to using that much of a circuit. I normally drive within the white lines, and at COTA if you make a mistake, you just run wide and come back on,” Button said.

“You don’t really lose that much time, and again, it’s a very different way of driving.

“Chicago should be better for me. I feel confident that I can have a better result, but it can also all end in Turn 1. So, it doesn’t matter how quick you are, you also need to have a little bit of luck on your side.”