Van Gisbergen ready to see another side of racing in NASCAR – RACER

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One of the main things Shane van Gisbergen had to adjust to as he prepared for his NASCAR Cup Series debut was the cockpit of a stock car.
“Well, the first thing is sitting on the other side of the car is tough,” van Gisbergen said. “Then climbing through the window. I’ve never done that before. Yeah, it’s quite different.”
The New Zealander visited the Trackhouse Racing shop before the event in Nashville to get fitted in the No. 91 Chevrolet. He then attended race weekend with the organization, which ended in a Ross Chastain victory.
Earlier this week, van Gisbergen got behind the wheel during a test at the Charlotte Roval. NASCAR adjusted its testing policy this season to allow for drivers with elite credentials from other forms of motorsports to test before competing in a Cup Series race.
In addition to the test, van Gisbergen spent time on the simulator with the main focus being getting him comfortable in the car. He also anticipated a lot of studying time to understand how different NASCAR race strategy is and the communication with his crew chief and engineers although the car itself he feels is fairly comparable to the Ampol Racing Camaro ZL1 he races in Supercars.
“The technical side of things is pretty similar in the way the car is built,” van Gisbergen said. “A big, heavy car. A lot of horsepower. It’s similar to what we have. It looks difficult.”
Technically there are a lot of similarities between van Gisbergen’s Supercars Camaro and the one he’ll wheel for Trackhouse on the streets of Chicago. But there are plenty of differences too… Mark Horsburgh/Motorsport Images
Van Gisbergen is a three-time Supercars champion. He is one of the most decorated drivers in the series, with 78 victories and 47 pole wins.
“I’m trying to keep my eyes open — try to learn this week and try to not have too many expectations about the street circuit,” van Gisbergen said. “It looks so different to what NASCAR has done before. When you watch the COTA race and how crazy that was, it was a bit eye-opening. But I hope it’s not like that at Chicago — that’d be crazy.”
Because Sunday is a one-off race for van Gisbergen and not one that counts for points for the No. 91 team, he wants to stay out of trouble. Part of that is focusing less on expectations than on racing with respect.
“I just want to do my best,” van Gisbergen said. “I’ve prepared as well as I can, and I know the Trackhouse team runs some awesome cars, meeting everyone and seeing how motivated they are. There is nothing wrong with the equipment and the preparation.
“So yeah, I have no expectations, results-wise. But if I’m prepared the best I can be, we can achieve anything.”
, , Cup Series, NASCAR
Kelly has been on the NASCAR beat full-time since 2013, and joined RACER as chief NASCAR writer in 2017. Her work has also appeared in NASCAR.com, the NASCAR Illustrated magazine, and NBC Sports. A corporate communications graduate from Central Penn College, Crandall is a two-time George Cunningham Writer of the Year recipient from the National Motorsports Press Association.



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