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Button reveals 'extreme' NASCAR element after COTA practice

Jenson Button is making his NASCAR Cup debut this weekend at Circuit of the Americas ahead of the Garage 56 Le Mans attack in June.

Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button has revealed the "extreme" element of NASCAR he found during practice for his Cup debut at Circuit of the Americas. 2009 champion Button is making his stock car racing debut this weekend during NASCAR's visit to the Austin track that also hosts the United States Grand Prix. It is in preparation for his attack with the Garage 56 Le Mans 24 Hours entry later in the year. Driving for Rick Ware Racing in the #15 machine, Button logged 13 laps during his first official session in a Cup car. And he found an extreme element that he was not used to.

"Extreme" NASCAR element

"I pretty much expected everything I felt," Button said after the 50-minute first practice session. "I think it’s a lot more extreme in some ways than others that I expected. I mean, position in the car feels good. The weirdest thing for me is that there’s so much on the windscreen. "So focusing out of the windscreen is very difficult. There’s all sorts of different pillars and different angles, the windscreen wiper. Getting your head around that and your eyes to focus passed that definitely takes time. "I’m used to having a visor and that’s it. It’s opened me. So, that took a bit of time."

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An incredible racing resume. Welcome to the NASCAR Cup Series, @JensonButton . pic.twitter.com/5zphXEirMz — NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 24, 2023

"Confidence" in car

The race at COTA is NASCAR's third visit to the purpose-built F1 track after an influx of road courses in recent years, including points races on the road courses of Daytona, Indianapolis and Road America, amongst others. Despite racing in Texas between 2012 and 2016, Button says the way his Ford Mustang machine rides the kerbs is slightly different to what he is used to. "I’m confident in what the car is doing – it’s moving a lot, and riding curbs is something I’m not used to as much as most of the boys here," he said. "So, it’s new and it’s a challenge, but I followed a few guys out there, and I’m doing most things right. "It’s just the fine-tuning: I’m not there with my driving yet or the car. I’ve never jumped into a car for 13 laps and gone qualifying. That’s different than what I’m used to – it takes a bit of time. I’m not a guy that jumps in a car and goes immediately quick. "I need to work with it a little bit, work with the engineers and build it around me. "[Qualifying] will be fun. The race is Sunday, but I still think qualifying can be relatively competitive."

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