IMSA Driver Jordan Taylor Qualifies Fourth in His NASCAR Debut
Today's NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of the Americas is headlined by an unusual number of high-profile one-off drivers. Most of those drivers beat expectations in qualifying yesterday. One nearly beat the field.
Jordan Taylor, an IMSA champion who is a full-time factory driver for Corvette Racing, has been working as the driving coach for the Garage56 NASCAR stock car program for the past few months. That means he has been testing a very different Hendrick Motorsports-run Next Gen stock car around the Circuit of the Americas often lately, but this weekend he is driving the 2021 championship winning No. 9 in relief of the injured Chase Elliott. It is his first-ever race weekend in a stock car, but he has been consistently quick and was able to make the final round of qualifying in his first attempt. In that round, he put down a fast enough lap to qualify fourth.
One of the drivers Taylor has been coaching, 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, is also making his NASCAR debut. He will roll off 24th in the Stewart Haas Racing-affiliated No. 15 Ford, just two spots behind 2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen in his second-ever race for the part-time No. 91 car from Trackhouse Racing. Button's Le Mans teammate Jimmie Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champion who has returned to NASCAR part-time as part of a new ownership stake in a team now called Legacy Motor Club, will start 31st.
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