Johnson, Rockenfeller, Button to drive Hendrick Motorsports’ Garage 56 entry
Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button will drive the Garage 56 entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The announcement was made Saturday in Dayton, regarding the partnership between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear.
Johnson, who tested the Gen 7 for the first time earlier in the week, will make his debut in the world-renowned 24-hour race. In 2021 and 2022, he was a part of the No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing team that finished 2nd and 5th respectively in the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Mike Rockenfeller will make his 11th 24 Hours of Le Mans entry in 2023. He won the 2010 edition, alongside Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas for Audi, and finished third in 2012.
The 2010 Le Mans winner also won the 2010 24 Hours of Daytona. In the 2021 edition, Rockenfeller shared the No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing entry with Johnson.
While Rockenfeller and Johnson have never raced together in the NASCAR Cup Series, Rockenfeller raced at Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval in preparation for the Garage 56 entry. He completed every lap, finishing 30th and 29th in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is Jenson Button, who has never done a Cup race and only drove a NASCAR stock car in a 2012 ride swap with Tony Stewart — but has expressed interest in racing Trackhouse’s Project 91 Cup car.
Button raced the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing but finished 43rd due to a blown engine. Despite the disappointing result, the 2009 F1 World Champion recalled wanting to come back and do the 24 Hours of Le Mans again.
On Tuesday, the Garage 56 car will test in Daytona.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans runs 9 a.m. ET, June 10, to 9 a.m. ET, June 11. Coverage is on Motor Trend TV cable channel.
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