Shane van Gisbergen will return to the NASCAR Cup series next month, racing on the Indianapolis road course, once again driving Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 car for international wildcards.
The three-time Supercars champion made his debut in the category on the Chicago street circuit at the start of July and instantly impressed by qualifying third, before becoming the first driver in 60 years to win on his debut the next day. He did so after battling back through the field after being caught up in a multi-car incident early on in the race, and passing Chase Elliott and Justin Haley in the final 10 laps.
“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 honored to be part of it.”
After his victory in Chicago, van Gisbergen hinted that a move to NASCAR could be on the cards after the 2024 season, when his commitments in Australia will be up, but Trackhouse owner Marks admitted that straight after Chicago he was looking for a way to get van Gisbergen back even sooner.
“After a performance like that it’s only natural to want to keep this going,” he said. “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 No. 91 Chevrolet at Indianapolis.”
Once again, veteran crew chief Darian Grubb will helm the No. 91 team as van Gisbergen looks to build on his impressive first outing.
“It was a true honor to be able to work with somebody like Shane van Gisbergen who put on a performance like that in his first start,” said Grubb. “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.”
van Gisbergen won’t be the only Supercars driver in the field at Indianapolis. Brodie Kostecki, a two-time race winner down under, will be making his NASCAR debut for Richard Childress Racing, while two-time FIA World Endurance champion, 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and one-time Formula 1 podium finisher Kamui Kobayashi will also be making his stock car bow