Van Gisbergen talks NASCAR chances

26 May
'I've obviously taken notice — they're not billies'
3 mins by James Pavey

Shane van Gisbergen is staying level-headed about his chances when he makes his NASCAR Cup Series debut.

Three-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen will race a Project91 Camaro out of the Trackhouse stable on July 2.

Van Gisbergen will be crewed by Cup Series-winning chief Darian Grubb, who led Tony Stewart to glory in 2011.

The two-time Bathurst winner’s debut will come at the new Chicago street race, which will be a first for all drivers.

Chicago is joined in 2023 by fellow road courses Circuit of the Americas, Sonoma, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and Charlotte Roval.

Van Gisbergen has emerged as one of the strongest street circuit racers in recent years in Supercars.

There are also similarities between the Supercar and NASCAR technical packages.

Van Gisbergen said he has kept a close eye on NASCAR races this season as he prepares to debut on the biggest stage — but he isn’t getting ahead of himself.

“I guess it’s hard to just jump in on one race, especially [because] they do more than one [road course race] a year, so they’re pretty sharp,” he said.

“I’ve obviously taken notice, the last couple of months, and tried to watch.

"Like, they’re not billies [billygoats], it’s not like there are only two or three good road course racers anymore.

“Like, the top 10, 15 guys can drive and turn right now, so it’s going to be very difficult.”


Van Gisbergen has proven versatile in recent years, notably winning a GT World Challenge Europe title in 2016, the New Zealand Grand Prix in 2021, and a WRC2 debut podium last year.

He also spent the summer in his native New Zealand racing sprint cars, and he claimed a maiden victory late in the season.

Van Gisbergen has made a concerted effort to get ahead of the eight ball, reaching out to the likes of Marcos Ambrose and Owen Kelly.

Van Gisbergen's #91 Project91 Camaro

Trackhouse boss Justin Marks has already given Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen a start in his Project91 car, and believes van Gisbergen will turn heads.

“We have been very pleased with the fan reaction to Kimi’s participation the last two seasons,” Marks said.

“I’ll concede the American racing fan might not be as familiar with Shane as they are with Kimi.

“But if you talk with anyone in Australia, New Zealand and that part of the world they will tell you he is one of the most talented drivers on the planet.

"He’s used to street racing in heavy cars and I think everyone will be very impressed with his performance."

The New Zealander will attend the June 25 race at Nashville with Trackhouse ahead of the July 2 race on the streets of Chicago.

Van Gisbergen signed a new deal with Red Bull Ampol Racing prior to the last round in Tasmania, where he claimed results of third, DNF and fourth.

The 34-year-old is fourth in the championship heading to the betr Darwin Triple Crown on June 16-18.

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