NASCAR star impressed by 'lightning fast' SVG

02 Jul
Three-time Daytona winner takes interest in Supercars star

NASCAR Cup Series veteran Denny Hamlin likes what he sees in Shane van Gisbergen, saying the Supercars star is “lightning fast”.

Hamlin beat van Gisbergen to pole position for the maiden Cup Series street race in Chicago.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota star is a three-time Daytona 500 winner, and has won over 40 Cup Series races.

In just his first NASCAR outing, van Gisbergen missed out on pole by 0.15s and qualified third.

It came after the two-time Bathurst winner topped practice, the first ever session held on a street course by Cup Series drivers.

Van Gisbergen may have to wait for his first race start, however, with rain lashing Chicago on race day.

Regardless, van Gisbergen has made a splash in NASCAR circles, with the Kiwi outqualifying his Trackhouse stablemates Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

Van Gisbergen on track in qualifying

“The biggest thing I noticed is the guy is lightning fast,” Hamlin said of van Gisbergen after qualifying.


“All of the corners I feel super uncomfortable using that extra three inches against the wall.

"So, where the track is the narrowest and where you saw Chase and those guys kind of get into the wall is where he is extremely fast.

"He’s just got a feel for those barriers and the car control that he has. That’s his advantage right now is that we’re not used to having to cut the corners that tight and he is.

"It’s been impressive what he’s done today for sure.”

Van Gisbergen was buoyed by the reception by NASCAR drivers, but downplayed his chances of a shock first-up win.

“I never think like that,” van Gisbergen said.

“But I do know our preparation has been good and our team is capable, so I just have to do the job.”

The 78-time Supercars race winner will return to Australia this week for the NTI Townsville 500. Tickets are on sale now.

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