Shane van Gisbergen scored a miraculous victory in his NASCAR Cup Series debut on Sunday at the Chicago street course, raising the possibility of a move to the North American motorsports organization next season.
However, van Gisbergen already has a trip elsewhere. The New Zealand native competes for Triple Eight Race Engineering of the Supercars Championship in Australia. He is a three-time champion on the circuit and has 80 career wins from him in 499 starts.
Van Gisbergen is still under contract with Triple Eight through the 2024 Supercars season, according to Motorsport. However, Triple Eight managing director Jamie Whincup said Monday that he would not stand between van Gisbergen and his NASCAR dreams if that was something he wanted to pursue.
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«He only has a contract with us for next year. But me sitting here right now, of course I’m trying to run the business to the best of my ability, and I need the best drivers, but if any drivers, engineers, employees came to me and he said, ‘Hey, my dream is to go to the other side of the world and do something else,’ so I’m not going to get in his way, right?» he told FOX Sports Australia.
«I want to open up opportunities for all my staff so we’ll see. I’m sure SVG is on a wave right now. I need him to score this weekend because we’re racing in Townsville for round 6 of our [Supercars] championship, so let’s focus on that first.
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«But there’s no doubt that we’ll have some discussions in the next month or so and work out what you want to do. You certainly got my praise, do what you want to do, and we’ll support you throughout.» .»
Van Gisbergen drove the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing vehicle to Victory Lane as he sped past Chase Elliott and Justin Haley in the closing laps. He was part of the race team’s Project 91 to help expand their global reach.
«This was a shower idea,» said Trackhouse owner Justin Marks. «I mean it was me thinking I’m a huge fan of all different types of motorsports, and I’ve raced in all different types of motorsports. I wanted to bring my love of global motorsports to NASCAR.»
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Van Gisbergen was the first driver to win in his NASCAR debut since Johnny Rutherford did so in the second qualifying race at Daytona in 1963. He is also the sixth driver born outside the US to win a NASCAR Cup Series race. , joining Marcos Ambrose, Mario Andretti, Juan Pablo Montoya, Earlo Ross and Daniel Suárez.
Associated Press contributed to this report.