NASCAR driver's advice for van Gisbergen

29 Jun
Kiwi also reached out to Marcos Ambrose

Shane van Gisbergen can expect NASCAR drivers to “use him up” in his cameo this weekend in Chicago, says current driver Corey LaJoie.

Van Gisbergen will pilot the Project91 Chevrolet Camaro at this weekend’s first ever Cup Series race on the Chicago streets.

The three-time Supercars champion will not only make his NASCAR debut, but race many of the Cup Series’ stars for the first time.

Where they are fighting to make the NASCAR Playoffs, van Gisbergen has nothing to lose — but LaJoie suggested that may only make his day harder.

Where Supercars has stewards and driving standards, NASCAR is far more lenient — something sportscar ace Jordan Taylor told van Gisbergen.

Taylor substituted for the injured Chase Elliot at the Circuit of the Americas race earlier this year, and had his ears boxed early on.

“I spoke to Jordan Taylor, he said he’d never experienced anything like it,” van Gisbergen said on LaJoie’s podcast, Stacking Pennies.

“He said he tried to be respectful at the start, but he got sick of it and started pushing back.”

LaJoie said: “I’ll give you a tip — you can use this to your advantage, or also to your disadvantage.

“They don’t have to race you next week — they will use you up much more before they use me up.

“If somebody uses me up, I’m gonna get their ass the following week. You’re on a plane Monday.


“You could use somebody else’s ass up, and you don't have to see him next week.”

Van Gisbergen replied: “I’ve never raced like that before — I don't really want to.

“You want to respect everyone, because you’re all racing for your championship.”

Van Gisbergen's preparations include testing his Cup Car at the Charlotte 'Roval', sitting in the Chevrolet simulator, and karting with Trackhouse owner Justin Marks.

Last weekend, the Kiwi was trackside as Trackhouse star Ross Chastain won his first race of the 2023 season in Nashville.

Van Gisbergen also caught up with former Supercars rival and IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin, and said on the podcast he has also spoken to Ambrose.

Ambrose famously left Supercars to pursue NASCAR in 2006, and raced in the Cup Series until 2014.

At the time of the announcement, Ambrose told V8 Sleuth: "If you're fast, you get respect. If you're not fast, they'll get you out of the way in a hurry."

“Marcos was very helpful, he was one of the first guys I rang,” van Gisbergen said.

“Just how to fit in, and deal with the weekend and stuff. It’s changed a lot since he’s done it, it’s all relative.”

Van Gisbergen will qualify on Sunday and race on Monday (AEST) in Chicago before returning to Australia.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NTI Townsville 500 on July 7-9. Tickets are on sale now.

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