The Hendrick Motorsports Garage 56 NASCAR entry at Le Mans finished 39th overall but was quite impressive in its debut. With the talented trio of Jenson Button, Jimmie Johnson, and Mike Rockenfeller behind the wheel, the first 20 hours of the race went quite smooth. It was the final few hours where the team ran into a drive line issue, and had to spend some time in the garage making repairs.

The three drivers split the driving duties fairly evenly, with Button and Johnson each doing 97 laps and Rockenfeller putting in 91 himself. Button may not have the experience of driving a stock car that the seven-time NASCAR champion has, but his knowledge and experience at Le Mans was something of great value. His only start in the 24 hour endurance race came five years ago but he was a quick study with this new car.

The 2009 Formula One World Champion thought he made a mistake when he first signed up for this race, but that quickly changed. "The first time I drove this car was at Daytona and for the first five laps, I thought it was the biggest mistake of my life signing up to this," he said. "But you slowly get used to it. You get used to the weight, you get used to the size. It took a while to get used to it, but I absolutely love it. It's such a fun car to drive."

24 Hours of Le Mans 2023 - Full Race Results

Button was behind the wheel when the car began to have problems with the drive line. They ran as high as 27th overall in the 62-car field, and were achieving all of the goals they established for themselves. In fact, they were ahead of the entire GTE field 20 hours into the race. They completed 285 laps and finished the race, which was their ultimate goal.

"It was awesome," Button said after the race. "Obviously the crowd are here to celebrate everyone that's taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But to hear the cheer for our car as it went past here. It's been a long journey for these guys getting the car ready for Le Mans.”

“Lots of long hours, but what an amazing group of people to produce what they have with this car. Taking it from a Cup car and making it into an endurance car for Le Mans. Staggering. The best in the business. I'm proud to be working with these guys. We didn't make any mistakes, but we still wanted to push the car hard. Driving it hard, you do go slower, but it really was a wonderful car to drive."