Former Formula One driver and 2009 world champion Jenson Button will make his NASCAR Cup Series race debut from 24th place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas on Sunday.
Button was the fastest Ford driver in Group 1A of qualifying on Saturday.
Button took part in a Q&A following qualifying.
JENSON BUTTON, No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN.
“The car was moving around a lot. My first lap I definitely didn’t get everything out of it. When you go out on old tires, you don’t really get the best out of it. I already lost the rear. I mean, it was OK. We’ll see. I’m in front of one of my heroes from NASCAR, Kevin Harvick, so it’s not so bad. It’s a pretty good day.”
HAS ANYTHING FROM GARAGE 56 HELPED YOU BRIDGE THE LEARNING CURVE?
“I think in terms of the weight, yes. In terms of everything else, I think it’s probably hindered me more than anything else. You brake at the three-marker everywhere here and then in Cup car, you brake before the four-marker. So, certain things are very different – we have traction control in that as well. Some things have hurt me, some things have helped me.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SECTOR AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS?
“The first sector is really tough. In an F1 car through the esses, it’s pretty awesome and very fast-flowing – pretty easy in an F1 car. In this car, it is not easy. You’re bouncing over the curbs, there’s a lot of movement – front, rear roll. So that’s the trickiest section but if you get it right, it’s very rewarding. The best section for me is Turn 12 and the slow corners there. Just because I think that’s my most competitive sector. That’s why I like it. If I was slow there, I wouldn’t like it. That, for me, is the best sector. I struggle in the carousel, the long right-hander – a little bit understeer and oversteer. It’s getting used to the car bouncing, hitting bumps… just not used to that yet.”
HOW ARE YOU ACCLIMATING?
“It’s been all good. The team has been fantastic to be fair, and it has really helped me get into a groove. The people I’m working with at Stewart-Haas Racing and Rick Ware Racing have been fantastic. Really, really good. I think in terms of the pace, we’re still quite a bit off over one lap, but that’s me just getting used to coming out of the pits, pushing it hard for one lap. It takes a little bit of time when you’re not 100 percent confident in a car.”