Button Out Speed In At ROC

Formula One Honda driver Jenson Button is joining NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on the bench for this weekend's Race of Champions in Paris. Button, like Johnson, has withdrawn from the race due to a rib injury recently sustained at a karting test.

The young Englishman was set to compete for the first time in the champion's race in Paris. He will be replaced by touring car star James Thompson.

Another Formula One driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso's American driver Scott Speed, will replace Johnson, who was suffered a wrist injury recently on a golfing trip.

"It was a surprise to be invited, to say the least," Speed said. "I definitely wasn't expecting to replace Jimmie Johnson in the Race of Champions this year. Of course, I'm really excited, and I can't wait to race against all these guys."

Speed is joining 2006 Rally America champion and motocross star Travis Pastrana for the United States team.

The Race of Champions is a unique, all-star event that pits top drivers from many types of worldwide racing against each other on a special rallycross track inside the 80,000-seat Stade de France soccer stadium. Drivers race in individual and team competition in a variety of vehicles, including a Citroen World Rally car, Porsch 911 GT3 sports car, Renault Megane touring car, Aston Martin GT sports car and an off-road buggy.

It will be the first time Speed has participated in the Race of Champions. This will be the fourth consecutive ROC start for Pastrana. The race is December 16.

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