Part-time NASCAR Cup Series driver JJ Yeley recently made headlines in the motorsport world after a TV blooper portrayed him as the 2009 F1 champion. The mishap happened Saturday (April 15) during qualifying for the NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.
Yeley was driving the #15 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing and was qualifying in Group 4 when graphics on FOX Sports showed him as the 2009 F1 World Champion. The information displayed was quickly recognized as an error by the radio network, since Yeley has never driven in Formula 1.
Jenson Button was the drivers’ world champion of the 2009 Formula 1 season; he won the title with Brawn GP. The Brit recently made his Cup Series debut, driving the #15 Ford Mustang in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
JJ Yeley and Button will share the same car for the 2023 season, driving for Rick Ware Racing. The broadcaster’s mishap may have occurred because they used the same graphics for car #15 that they used in COTA.
While FOX Sports attempted to redefine history by crowning Yeley as the 2009 F1 Champion, that year he drove #41 for Mayfield Motorsports in the Cup Series. Although the RWR driver has never raced in F1, he has plenty of experience driving open-wheelers.
After earning the Rookie of the Year award in the 1997 USAC National Sprint Car Series, Yeley competed in the NTT IndyCar Series the following year. He made five starts in the series formerly known as the Indy Racing League. The 46-year-old secured his best finish at the prestigious Indy 500 and managed a top 10 finish.
After another year in the series, he transitioned to sprint cars before making his NASCAR debut in 2004.
Yeley and Button will share the number 15 for the remainder of the season as the former F1 champion is set to return for two more appearances. Button will make his second start at the first Chicago Street Circuit, followed by his third start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on August 13.
Fans react to the 2009 F1 Champion’s blooper during NASCAR qualifying
When Fox Sports portrayed NASCAR driver JJ Yeley as the 2009 F1 World Champion, fans were quick to take to social media with pictures of it. The broadcaster’s big mistake made the rounds on social media within a very short time.
The blooper left many NASCAR fans in splits as they responded to the incident on Twitter. Here are a few reactions:
Jenson Button himself responded on Twitter, sharing an emoji:
Some tweets blamed Fox Sports for the mishap: