Van Gisbergen to make NASCAR return at Indy
Thursday 20th July, 2023 - 9:04am
Trackhouse Racing will field Shane van Gisbergen again in next month’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Indianapolis road course.
The three-time Supercars champion currently has a perfect winning record in NASCAR after his debut triumph on the streets of Chicago earlier this month.
Now, amid frenzied speculation that he will make a full-time switch to the category next year, he has been locked in for a second start in the #91 Project91 Chevrolet Camaro.
It means there will be two current Supercars drivers on the grid at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with fellow Championship title contender Brodie Kostecki to make his NASCAR debut with Richard Childress Racing.
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“I never dreamed this could have all rolled out this way,” said van Gisbergen.
“Just getting to race in NASCAR is an opportunity I never thought I would get, but then to win and get another chance this year is beyond anything I imagined.
“I can’t thank [Trackhouse founder and owner] Justin Marks, everyone at Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR for this opportunity.
“Everyone in NASCAR welcomed me to Chicago and it’s been awesome to see how big the reception from that race has been around the world.
“I am honoured to be part of it.”
Car #91 will join the full-time #1 and #99 Trackhouse entries of Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, respectively.
It will be the fourth event for the Project91 initiative which was created in order to showcase drivers from foreign disciplines in NASCAR, with 2007 world drivers’ champion Kimi Raikkonen being handed the first two starts.
However, whereas Raikkonen recorded results of 37th and 29th, van Gisbergen became the first debut Cup Series race winner in six decades, and Marks said, “I’m pretty confident that it’s Shane’s seat right now.”
Speaking on the Indianapolis announcement, he remarked, “After a performance like that it’s only natural to want to keep this going.
“Shane showed he is a world-class talent and what he did in Chicago was truly remarkable. Project91, Trackhouse Racing and the fans of NASCAR benefit by bringing him back.
“I don’t think I am being overly dramatic when I say the entire motorsports world will be watching the #91 Chevrolet at Indianapolis.”
Once again, Cup Series title-winning Crew Chief Darian Grubb will take up that role on Car #91.
“It was a true honour to be able to work with somebody like Shane van Gisbergen who put on a performance like that in his first start,” said Grubb, who has worked with champions Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.
“The team did an incredible job preparing the car, being ready for the moment and putting it all out there on the line and letting him put that show on.
“You’re never going to forget that. It’s the first event; we all wanted some souvenirs and stuff from it just to make sure we remembered it for life and tell our grand kids about it.
“It was really cool and I hope we can do that again in Indy.”
The Indianapolis road course race takes place on the weekend of August 11-13, where billing is shared with IndyCar.