NASCAR: Busch torn on racing washed up F1 drivers

During last week’s press conference at Phoenix Raceway, Kyle Busch seemed somewhat torn when asked for his reaction about racing against washed up F1 drivers Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen at COTA in a couple of weeks.

They won’t win because it’s all new to them, and they are not with the best teams.

“I hope Kimi (Räikkönen) gets a better opportunity than he had his last time out; going out there and running a full race,” Busch said. “But I think it’s fun. I think it’s great that they have that opportunity. Trackhouse won that race last year, so you know they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The SHR guys, I think are doing the No. 15 ride for Jenson (Button) It’s cool to see the diversity of different backgrounds of drivers and where they come from.”

“I’m not excited, but it’s going to be cool to have them out there and be a part of our show. They’re not used to the full contact sport of what NASCAR is. I’m sure Kimi’s eyes were opened quite a bit on how all that went down at Watkins Glen. But he’s more ready and more prepared this time around.”

“I love that challenge of driving new things,” Button said. “Every time an ex-F1 driver gets in a stock car these days, they struggle initially. It takes a while for them to get up to speed, so I don’t expect to be right at the front straight away. But I’m not just doing it for fun in some one-off.

“I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive it’s going to take a bit of time. That’s why doing these three races works very well this season.”

As for Räikkönen, the 43-year-old Finland native will be gunning for redemption when he hits the track in Texas.

“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” Räikkönen said. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful; the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with, so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”