Could NASCAR be graced with the presence of Shane Van Gisbergen sooner than expected?
After a historic victory in Sunday’s Grant Park 220, the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series event on the Chicago Street Course, many questions arose about the possibility of the Auckland, New Zealand native pursuing a full-season effort in NASCAR.
While Van Gisbergen, a three-time Australian Supercars champion, was clearly interested in the prospects of racing in the United States on a full-time basis, he noted post-race; “I’m doing one more year in Australia, and then I’d love to come over to [to America].”
The 34-year-old driver has one more season left on his contract with Triple Eight Race Engineering in Australian Supercars, the series in which he’s captured 80 victories and won back-to-back championships in 2021 and 2022.
There may be some wiggle room for the newly-crowned NASCAR Cup Series winner, though, should he decide he wants to run NASCAR in 2024, says Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal, Jamie Whincup.
“No doubt we’re going to have some discussions the next month or so and work out what he wants to do,” said Whincup. “He has certainly got my praise, whatever he wants to do, and we’re going to support him all the way.”
“I certainly wouldn’t stand in his way, no,” Whincup added. “Of course, there are contractual things we need to work through, but if somebody really wants to go do something else, then I’m certainly not going to stand in his way, that’s for sure.”
This past weekend, Van Gisbergen joined forces with Trackhouse Racing to drive the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro, a third part-time entry for the organization through its PROJECT91 – designed to bring an international flair to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Should SVG show interest in competing full-time at NASCAR’s top level in 2024, Trackhouse Racing – or whichever team acquires his driving talents – would likely need to have a charter to make it work, something that has become a hot commodity as of late.
Plus, if things don’t end up working out for Van Gisbergen to compete full-time in 2024, there’s always the NASCAR All-Star Race.