Button hit with five-place grid penalty for Austin

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Jenson Button has been hit with a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas after McLaren made an unscheduled gearbox change on his car.

The 2009 world champion is currently fighting for his future within F1, with McLaren considering a change in driver line-up ahead of the 2015 season.

Button has struggled this year by virtue of the troublesome McLaren MP4-29 car. Despite finishing on the podium in the first race in Australia, he has since failed to come inside the top three at a race, leaving him seventh in the drivers’ championship.

Any hopes he may have had of standing on the podium in Austin have been dealt a serious blow by this grid penalty, which will be applied to his qualifying result on Saturday afternoon.

McLaren confirmed on Twitter that Button would be taking the penalty.

However, he will not be the only driver taking a penalty this weekend. Sebastian Vettel is expected to completely change the power unit on his Red Bull, meaning that he will have to start the race from the pit lane. As a result, it is unlikely that he will take any part during qualifying in Austin on Saturday.

NBC/NBCSN SCHEDULE FROM UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

INDYCAR: How to watch the Bommarito 500

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The NTT IndyCar Series is racing just outside of St. Louis this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway Gateway.

The last oval race of the season, tonight’s  Bommarito Auto Motive Group promises to bring plenty of high-speed, high-stakes racing action under the lights.

Series point leader Josef Newgarden will start tonight’s race from the pole position, with Sebastian Bourdais starting alongside him in row one.

By winning the pole, Newgarden gained an additional championship point, which extends his lead over Alexander Rossi to 36 points.

Rossi start’s tonight’s race from the 11th position after an uncharacteristically poor qualifying run for the No. 27 team, while Simon Pagenaud (third in the standings, 41 points behind) will start from the fourth position and Scott Dixon (fourth in the standings, 53 points behind) will start from eighth.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 8/24, 4:20 p.m. ET, Indy Lights race, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/24, 8 p.m. ET, Bommarito Automotive Group 500, NBCSN and streaming live 

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