Two F1 World Champions to race NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas in Austin
12 March 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
Trackhouse Racing announced Wednesday that Kimi Räikkönen, 2007 F1 World Champion, will drive the team’s №91 Chevrolet at the Circuit of The Americas, securing a return engagement with the organization’s Project 91 initiative.
Räikkönen, the Finnish Formula One great, is set for his second NASCAR Cup Series start in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on March 26 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). His previous entry into the Cup Series came at Watkins Glen International in a 37th-place debut, abbreviated by a midrace crash.
Joining Kimi Räikkönen in the field at COTA will be another past F1 World Champion- Jenson Button. Button won the title in 2009 with the Brawn GP team.
According to Stewart-Haas Racing and Mobil 1, Button will make his Cup Series debut March 26 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. He will then compete in the inaugural Chicago Street Race on July 2 before culminating his three-race Cup Series slate Aug. 13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Rick Ware Racing (RWR) will field the №15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang that Button will drive in each Cup Series race. Marketing and promotional support is being facilitated by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), Mobil 1’s longtime NASCAR team partner. RWR and SHR collaborated in similar fashion last year for multiple races with a handful of drivers.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Jenson Button as he makes his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series and support him on his journey to making one of his racing dreams a reality,” said Rob Shearer, Director of Global Lubricants Marketing Services, on behalf of Mobil 1. “We’re driven by the love of driving and committed to helping more people get behind the wheel — wherever they may be. Through our partnership, we hope to continue to inspire and serve drivers everywhere — encouraging them to get more out of their drive and reconnect with the adventure of the open road.”
Button won 15 grands prix, including a dominant six-win campaign in 2009 that netted him the F1 title. Upon retiring from F1 in 2017, the British driver has taken on a variety of challenges. It began with sports cars in the Japanese Super GT Series’ GT500 class, where he won the 2018 championship. He then ran a five-race stint in the 2018–2019 FIA World Endurance Championship, a drive that included the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Button has even competed in off-road endurance racing, running the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000 in 2019.
Mobil 1 has been there for nearly all of it, with Button’s NASCAR endeavor another chapter in a partnership that began 20 years ago.