Van Gisbergen given warning ahead of NASCAR debut

Shane van Gisbergen makes his NASCAR debut this weekend. Picture: Shane van Gisbergen Twitter

Shane van Gisbergen makes his NASCAR debut this weekend. Picture: Shane van Gisbergen Twitter

Shane van Gisbergen can expect to be targeted by his rivals when he makes his NASCAR debut this weekend, according to Cup Series regular Corey LaJoie.

The three-time Supercars champion joined LaJoie on his Stacking Pennies podcast ahead of the Chicago event, NASCAR’s first ever street race.

As well as his familiarity with street circuits, van Gisbergen has the benefit of not having to think about strategically collecting stage points given his drive in the Project91 entry is a one-off.

However, the cameo also represents a double-edged sword with respect to contact, as Jordan Taylor learned when he filled in for the injured Chase Elliott at the Circuit of The Americas earlier this year.

“I spoke to Jordan Taylor; he said he’d never experienced anything like it,” said the New Zealander.

“He said he tried to be respectful at the start, but he got sick of it and started pushing back.”

LaJoie remarked, “I’ll give you a tip; you can use this to your advantage, or also to your disadvantage.

“They don’t have to race you next week; they will use you up much more before they use me up.

“If somebody uses me up, I’m gonna get their arse the following week [but] you’re on a plane Monday.

“You could use somebody else’s arse up, and you don’t have to see him next week.”

Van Gisbergen responded, “I’ve never raced like that before; I don’t really want to.

“You want to respect everyone, because you’re all racing for your championship.”

Van Gisbergen’s drive in the #91 Chevrolet Camaro, Trackhouse Racing’s third entry for international cameos, has heightened speculation that he might make a full-time switch to NASCAR and he did little to dampen that in comments to media last weekend in Nashville.

One driver who did cross over from Supercars to NASCAR on a lasting basis was Marcos Ambrose, whose advice SVG has sought.

“Marcos was very helpful, he was one of the first guys I rang,” said the Triple Eight Race Engineering driver.

“Just how to fit in, and deal with the weekend and stuff. It’s changed a lot since he’s done it, but it’s all relative.”

Van Gisbergen tested earlier this week on the Charlotte ‘roval’ ahead of Practice and Qualifying on Saturday (local time; Sunday at 03:30 and 04:30 AEST).

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