SVG moves forward on NASCAR oval debut

11 Aug
Supercars champ makes gains in maiden oval start
2 mins by James Pavey

Three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen has raced from 24th to 19th in his maiden NASCAR oval race in Indianapolis.

Van Gisbergen, 34, made his oval debut aboard a Niece Motorsports Chevrolet in the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoff race.

The two-time Bathurst winner had it all to do in his first day at an oval, completing a short practice session before a two-lap qualifying run.

The New Zealander qualified 28th and started 24th once penalties were applied, and worked his way up to 20th at the end of Stage 1.

Van Gisbergen was 21st at the end of Stage 2, and ran 15th with 40 laps to go before dropping back to 19th.

The Kiwi dropped a lap late on to eventual winner Ty Majeski, who dominated the 200-lap race at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

“That was awesome, but have to say, a little gutted — 10 to go, finally dropped off the lead lap,” he told the broadcast.

“Had a ball, had some awesome racing with people, a lot of fun. Got to thank Niece Motorsports.

“I’m living the dream, it was really cool, everyone was respectful, it was awesome."


When asked if he could grade his debut, van Gisbergen replied: “I dunno, I don’t do that. I’ve got a lot to learn, pace was okay in some spots.

“I probably gave the wrong call on the adjustments and we dropped in the last stint. So much fun.”

Christian Eckes had started from pole position and led early on before being overtaken by Majeski on lap 4.

Van Gisbergen was 23rd when the first caution was called on lap 14 when Landen Lewis hit the wall, with Hailie Deegan and Greg van Alst also caught up.

Majeski led by three seconds after 50 laps and claimed Stage 1 honours, with van Gisbergen 20th.

Majeski continued to dominate after the break, with van Gisbergen last of the lead lap runners in 22nd. The Kiwi dropped a lap on lap 109, but got it back after another caution.

After another caution on lap 131, van Gisbergen had worked his way back to 17th, and was in a three-wide battle for 15th with Chase Purdy and Jake Drew with 40 to go.

Van Gisbergen and Supercars rival Brodie Kostecki will now turn their attention to NASCAR Cup Series Practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday (AEST).

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