Shane van Gisbergen is pleased with his top 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis, given his expectations were naturally high after his first-up Chicago win.
Three-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen finished 10th in Monday’s (AEST) race at the Indy road course, which was won by Michael McDowell.
Supercars rival Brodie Kostecki, on debut, made an impressive charge from the rear of the 39-car field to finish 22nd.
Van Gisbergen entered the week as one of the pre-race favourites, given his dominant debut performance on the streets of Chicago in July.
The Kiwi qualified eighth on Sunday (AEST), a day after he finished 19th in his Truck and oval debut at the nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Speaking after the Cup race, van Gisbergen said he learned a great deal in the oval race, and adjusted expectations into the main event.
“It’s been an amazing week,” van Gisbergen said on the broadcast.
“I can’t thank [team owner] Justin Marks and the Trackhouse team enough for giving me this opportunity.
Van Gisbergen finished 10th on Monday (AEST)
“I learned a lot in the truck on Friday night and then just to come here and race again.
“Although top 10's awesome, your expectations are high because of the last race, so I just have to realise that a top 10 is still pretty good.”
Van Gisbergen’s Stateside cameo comes amid the Kiwi’s expected shift to NASCAR from 2024.
The 34-year-old’s journey to NASCAR appeared on course after Erebus Motorsport last week confirmed Will Brown will leave the team at the end of 2023.
Earlier last week, Brown had been linked to a move to Triple Eight, with Erebus releasing a statement confirming the Queenslander’s exit.
Triple Eight returned serve with a statement of its own, saying van Gisbergen was under contract until advised otherwise.
When asked about his 2024 plans, van Gisbergen said: “I don’t know about full-time, but I’m working towards something at least.
“Triple Eight in Australia has been really good to me and forthcoming with what I’m allowed to do.
“I’m working hard, but here, it’s so much fun, I’m having a blast. The fans here are awesome towards me and all the people too.
“I’m enjoying it, really look forward to coming here.”
Van Gisbergen and Kostecki will return to Australia ahead of this weekend’s OTR SuperSprint. Tickets are on sale now.