Button qualified eighth for the inaugural event on the downtown streets of Chicago, one of three races he contested in a Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang. He was classified 21st in the race after being pushed into a spin in mixed weather conditions.
Button returns to full-time competition in sportscar racing in 2024, making his debut in the Daytona 24 Hours with Acura this weekend before embarking on a full season with Jota in a customer Porsche 963.
When asked by Motorsport.com whether he’d scratched his NASCAR itch, Button said: “Well, no, because we never got that result.
“It was annoying because a couple of times we were quick. We just didn’t get that result, so it was frustrating.
“I was asked to do a race this year in a really good car, but I just can’t. There’s so much racing to be done and I’m also doing TV work with Sky still, and things with other sponsors, so it’s enough this year.”
But when pushed if he might come back to it in future, he replied: “If they still want to have me! Mobil 1 offered me the drive this year, so they’re looking for other options, but I couldn’t do the one they offered me [Chicago] as I’m at the British Grand Prix.”
Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images
Jenson Button, Rick Ware Racing, Mobil 1 Ford Mustang
After calling time on his full-time racing career after a successful Super GT campaign in 2019, the 2009 Formula 1 world champion raced sporadically across British GT, Goodwood Revival, Nitro Rallycross, Extreme E and NASCAR.
Button says it was his Garage 56 experience at the Le Mans 24 Hours – when Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports brought a modified NASCAR Camaro for him, Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller – that fired his desire to race more often and has raised his popularity in American motorsport paddocks.
“It’s funny actually,” he said. “Half of the fans who ask for a picture will have a photo of me in a NASCAR. Which is kinda cool. I think the NASCAR stuff, I did couple of races and they might have noticed me, but it’s mostly the Garage 56, because they respect us for taking it to Europe – so I get a lot of love.
“The other half of the time, it’s F1 photos or this car.”
Button said that a switch from WEC to the IMSA SportsCar Championship in future was unlikely.
“I don’t want to be jumping around now,” he said. “I’m 44, I don’t want to be racing for many more years – so I’m fully on it for what I want to achieve in the next couple of years.
“I’ve tried everything, Trophy Trucks, a GT3 race, I did loads of fun things, but you always come back to what you’re good at.
“So I think I’m going to be doing WEC for the next couple of years.”