Jacques Villeneuve will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. The 1997 Formula 1 World Champion and '95 Indy 500 winner will step into the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet for NASCAR's first road course event of the season. It will be Villeneuve's first appearance in NASCAR's premier series since 2010, when he finished 29th at Indianapolis.
"We wanted to put a driver in our No. 51 Chevrolet who would give us the best chance to win at Sonoma Raceway," said Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch. "When the opportunity came up to have someone like Jacques Villeneuve in our car, we were very happy to make that happen."
Villeneuve has competed in various road course events in the Nationwide Series, but this will be his first foray into non-oval racing at Cup level. The 42-year-old came within a whisker of winning the Nationwide race at Montreal last year, but was passed by Justin Allgaier on the final lap and dropped to third.
Phoenix Racing led two laps at Sonoma last year with Kurt Busch, who eventually finished third.