Rick Ware Racing with Mobil 1 Racing’s Jenson Button in the No.15 Ford Mustang says his first NASCAR Cup Series race was an emotional rollercoaster.
The 2009 Formula One world champion made his NASCAR Cup Series race debut at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas on Sunday.
Starting the race from 24th place on the grid, Button had a tricky start to the race and says that he nearly retired from the race due to heat exhaustion.
A massive hit from fellow Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen didn’t help thing but he survived the race to come home in P18.
Speaking following the race Button said:
It was an emotional rollercoaster. First, it was terrible. I mean, I must’ve been last by the end of it. And I was just like, ‘Everyone: Go. I just need to drive and find a rhythm.’ I’ve never gone through a corner too wide, so often. And trying to place my car in the right place – I just got it wrong every time. Normally, if you’re a little bit slow through a corner, nobody tries to overtake you from the outside. Because they’re not going to make it all the way on the next one. But here they do, because they get a wheel inside for the next one, and if you turn in, you turn around. The first stint was really bad – it was embarrassing for me. I was like, ‘All right guys, we need to pit, freshen the tires and I need some air – I need some fresh air.’ I got that. The pace was good, consistency was good. I was really happy… and passed a few cars which was nice. We got a little bit unlucky with the safety car because it was just two laps before our window. Pitted, then the next stint was mayhem. We also made a couple of changes that just didn’t work. Big oversteer – went from the car feeling great to really difficult to drive. I also had a massive whack from Kimi [Räikkönen], and it fell off after that. The car wasn’t quite right. Everytime I turned in, the rear tires would chatter, then immediately to oversteer. It was really difficult, but towards the end, we made some good calls stopping and putting on fresh tires. I enjoyed the last three restarts – got good placement and good overtaking moves from the outside. Finished 18th after almost stopping because I had heat exhaustion. It was so hot, I don’t have a fan in my seat which really didn’t help me too much. It was so hot, I thought I was going to faint in the car. So, I stopped twice for a minute. They put ice on me, gave me loads of water, and I went back out. I was so close to getting out of the car because I thought I was going to faint. I must’ve drank eight… nine bottles of water during the race. The team kept me calm, and it’s the reason why we got a good result in the end. So, I was happy