- Oct 4, 2006
Reports: Villeneuve signed NASCAR deal with Roush
It's surely a credit to stock car racing that F1 drivers have been migrating to NASCAR. In the new parody movie Talladega Nights, it seems like a joke that the antagonist (pictured) is a French F1 driver come over to America to race stock cars, but that's looking less and less like a joke as it becomes reality.
McLaren recently released its departing driver Juan Pablo Montoya from his contract early so he can begin testing stock cars. And the speculation continues to mount that former world champion Jacques Villeneuve is planning to move to NASCAR as well. Other former F1 drivers have gone back down the totem-poll to sports-car racing, endurance racing, Indy cars, and touring cars, but Jacques indicated his intentions by asserting that NASCAR was not, in his bespectacled eyes, a step down from F1.
The latest reports claim that the French Canadian son of legendary Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve has already signed a contract with Roush Racing. Roush drivers won the Nextel Cup in 2003 and 2004, and the team is considered to be Ford's leading NASCAR challengers. In addition to the five cars run in the top-tier Nextel Cup, Roush also runs six cars in the lower Busch Series and two Craftsman trucks. While it's not yet clear where the former Indy 500 winner would start (nor, for that matter, confirmed that he will), he'd be joining a winning team with the apparatus to give him the opportunity to win. After racing for Williams, BAR-Honda, Renault, Sauber and BMW, JV's been given no shortage of opportunities to win in F1 – time will tell if his fortunes will turn for the better in NASCAR.