Shane van Gisbergen manages the NASCAR development program for Trackhouse

News agencySeptember 14, 2023 at 10:40 AM ET3 minutes to read

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Shane van Gisbergen’s expected move to NASCAR will be part of a development program leading all three national series for Trackhouse Racing.

The New Zealand native won his first NASCAR race on the streets of downtown Chicago while driving Trackhouse in early July. He said after the win that he wanted to move full-time to American cars and confirmed his intention later that month after the V8 Supercars race in Australia.

Trackhouse is now committed to building a program around the 34-year-old from Oakland to run select races in Cup, Xfinity and Track Series. He will also run some other lower level races.

“This announcement means many things to me,” Van Gisbergen said. “I am proud of what I have achieved here in Australia, but I am excited about this new chapter in my career and the opportunities it brings.”

Van Gisbergen is a three-time Supercars champion. His team Triple Eight Race Engineering, which competes under the Red Bull Racing brand, said it would allow van Gisbergen to leave for NASCAR.

Since his win in Chicago, Van Gisbergen has made one additional Cup Series start and finished 10th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month. He also finished 19th in the Truck Series race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. This was Van Gisbergen’s first race on an oval circuit.

Van Gisbergen’s 2024 racing schedule will be designed to provide him with a variety of NASCAR experiences, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks said.

“This will be a huge challenge for Shane, but he is a great driver as we have all seen,” Marks said. “Next year will be about getting him acclimated to oval track racing, speedways, 1.5-mile tracks and everything he’s never experienced before in his career. Obviously it’s going to be a learning process, but we think Shane will do well.”

Van Gisbergen joins a growing list of New Zealand motorsport stars holding high-profile racing careers around the world. Liam Lawson recently made his Formula 1 debut, and Scott Dixon is the veteran of three Kiwi drivers in IndyCar. Dixon is a six-time IndyCar champion from Oakland who won three of the final four races of the IndyCar season, and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Marcus Armstrong, won IndyCar’s top honors despite not running the five oval races.

Scott McLaughlin finished third in the final IndyCar standings in his third season in that series, where he moved after winning three V8 Supercars titles. McLaughlin’s move to IndyCar opened the way for Van Gisbergen to dominate the series.

Earl Bamber, another Kiwi, leads Ganassi’s sports car programme.

“There’s a lot of talent from New Zealand. It’s impressive to see such a small country,” Dixon said after his victory in the IndyCar season finale on Sunday. “Obviously the racing heritage is strong there. There’s a lot of support. I think the hardest part for a lot of us is that New Zealand is a small country, so funding is very difficult. I think the right people, the likes of Peter Can Johnson and Craig Harris, the Giltraps, are helping a lot.” From people, even with Shane van Gisbergen, it created a lot of noise.

“It’s great to see some of these guys getting the opportunity.”

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