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Friday, February 23, 2024

Van Gisbergen “most anxious” about superspeedways in NASCAR

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Van Gisbergen grew to become the primary driver in over 60 years to win a NASCAR Cup race on debut when he took the chequered flag on the inaugural Chicago Avenue Course race.

Now just some months later, he is uprooted his complete life with only one 12 months to be taught inventory automotive racing earlier than an anticipated full-time transfer to the Cup Collection.

“It has been a whirlwind since Chicago,” he stated throughout a Thursday media availability, noting how rapidly every thing has come collectively since then.

“Packing up every thing. My complete life. Shifting from Australia to America. It has been large, however fairly thrilling the best way this system form of escalated from ten races to now a full season and 7 Cup races.

“What Justin [Marks] and Ty [Norris] and the Trackhouse group have put collectively is actually thrilling and I acquired a number of studying to do and a number of expertise to realize rapidly, however I feel it is one of the simplest ways to do it to organize myself for a 2025 Cup alternative.”

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Maybe studying to race ovals on the pinnacle of inventory automotive racing would be the simple half, as SVG spoke on discovering a home, getting a visa, social safety quantity, checking account, and even a drivers license. 

“Beginning a complete new life from scratch, actually. But it surely’s thrilling.”

His 2024 season will embrace the complete 33-race Xfinity schedule, in addition to seven Cup races. Amongst them are two superspeedway races, two intermediate tracks, and two street programs. 

He’ll be thrown straight into the deep finish, making his Xfinity debut within the season-opener at Daytona Worldwide Speedway and his Cup oval debut at Talladega Superspeedway a pair months later.

“You watch them and it simply appears to be like like vehicles driving round flatout, however now I have been making an attempt to check it as a lot as I can,” stated van Gisbergen.

He watched three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin by way of his onboard digicam at Talladega final 12 months, paying shut consideration as he lower his method again by the sphere after a penalty. 

“Watching that is sort of a high-speed chess match, but in addition a lottery I assume,” he stated.

“Our first race. I do not actually know how one can method it or what to anticipate. We get just a little little bit of follow so I can get a really feel for the automotive and the vehicles round me at that pace, however that fashion of racing is to this point faraway from every thing I’ve ever accomplished.

“Superspeedways might be what I am most anxious about, or not sure about what is going on to occur or how the vehicles race. That is going to be a tricky first one.”

Picture by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Columbia Sportswear Firm Toyota Camry spins

Fellow NASCAR drivers have been very welcoming to the 34-year-old racer, saying the help has “been actually superior. Everybody’s been welcoming me to states and in the event that they might help in any method, they’re providing. It is actually cool. Kevin Harvick has been an incredible assist with simply fundamental recommendation and being snug within the automotive and being well-strapped in.

“He stated that I am going to have hits greater than I’ve ever had earlier than, which isn’t good to listen to however it’s a real reality.

“I’ve to be prepared for that and be snug and protected within the automotive. I’ll have change my ft and the best way I sit within the automotive to be extra protected on the ovals.

“That is simply a part of it, and ensuring the seat is identical within the Xfinity automotive so I can slot between one and the opposite and be snug. It is simply the little stuff like that I do not usually take into consideration.”

Van Gisbergen is not sure what his 2024 season will embrace past the introduced races, however he was in a position to verify that the Daytona 24 isn’t going to be a part of it as he desires to deal with NASCAR.

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However when requested by Autosport about working extra Truck races or anything exterior of Cup/Xfinity, he did go away the door open.

“Probably. I have not actually talked an excessive amount of about it. I feel there’s two tracks that we do not go to in Xfinity,” he stated, mentioning the Xfinity off-wekend when the Truck Collection joins Cup at Kansas in Might.

“I feel it might be useful to at the very least go to that observe and simply expertise it. I need to have the ability to go to each observe and know all of them earlier than 2025.”

What the 34-year-old is making an attempt to do is not fully unprecedented. Two-time Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose took the same path, however admittedly spent far longer within the decrease divisions than SVG plans to.

Victory lane: winner Marcos Ambrose celebrates

Picture by: Motion Sports activities Images

Victory lane: winner Marcos Ambrose celebrates

“Marcos Ambrose is a good instance,” van Gisbergen defined. “Related background coming into NASCAR. Once I researched how Marcos did it and what he went by. It took him three seasons earlier than he was full-time within the Cup Collection.

“I forgot about that aspect of issues. It isn’t going to be a straightforward transition. Me doing this 12 months in Xfinity. It should be a number of studying, a number of rising pains, however Marcos has been actually useful for rushing up my studying course of.

“He despatched me a number of recommendation on what to anticipate and how one can method issues. I wish to emulate what he is accomplished. Get into the Cup Collection and achieve success. I feel his profession was actually superior. He had a good time right here, and beloved his expertise, so I would prefer to be like that.”

One other driver he could possibly lean on is his new team-mate at Kaulig Racing. A.J. Allmendinger is a winner in open-wheel, sports activities vehicles, and inventory vehicles. He is additionally drastically improved his oval racecraft through the years.

When Autosport requested about working with Allmendinger, SVG replied: “I have not met him correctly but, however hopefully he is open with it and open to giving me recommendation.

“He is clearly an excellent sturdy benchmark as a team-mate to match myself in opposition to. I am excited. We’re in some good gear.

“Getting out to Kaulig yesterday and assembly everybody there and seeing all of the Chevys lined up, it was fairly spectacular. I am excited to drive them and be taught off him and attempt to push one another to the entrance.”

Van Gisbergen is utilizing the low season to check footage, and follow on each iRacing and the sim. Speaking concerning the resolution to run the complete Xfinity season, he stated that he basically got here all the way down to what Kaulig had accessible.

“It is simply the way it labored out with Kaulig,” stated van Gisbergen. “It is nice. They ended up having a full-time seat there, and I feel that is simply one of the simplest ways.

Shane van Gisbergen, Kaulig Racing livery

Picture by: Kaulig Racing

Shane van Gisbergen, Kaulig Racing livery

“I am attending to go to each circuit and hopefully attending to expertise the stress of the playoffs as effectively. That is what the aim is – to make the playoffs and perceive that stress of being concerned in it.

“The second half of the 12 months is the place I hope to essentially get higher on the ovals. The second half of the 12 months is after we go to the tracks that we have been to and I perceive the stream of the race and the way the observe drives, and hopefully in control with my automotive then. I feel it is the proper method to do it. Soar in, full season straightaway. “

He additionally famous that they unfold out his Cup schedule with the intention to give Trackhouse loads of time to construct and put together the additional automotive as additionally they subject two full-time entries on the high stage of the game.

“The Charlotte weekend is gonna be fairly robust doing 300 miles on Saturday and the 600 on Sunday, however it’s all about expertise and making an attempt to do as many laps I can to get the miles up.”

When the 2024 season is over, he’ll have at the very least 43 NASCAR races below his belt (together with final 12 months). So what makes it an accomplishment? At what level will he really feel able to tackle Cup full-time?

“I am making an attempt to not have expectations,” he admitted. “I wish to have my preparation pretty much as good as potential. However results-wise, I do not know what we’ll obtain.

“Clearly wish to get some top-tens, and signify WeatherTech effectively, and have some enjoyable. I actually do not know what it should be like.

“I am certain there’s going to be a number of dropping and loads exhausting instances on the ovals however hopefully by the 12 months, I get higher and know what’s coming and the second time to the observe we may be aggressive.”

Van Gisbergen’s Chicago win rattled the NASCAR world, as did his post-race remark declaring that “any of the high ten in Supercars are ok to return and do what I simply did.”

When requested about that declare, he expanded on what he meant and hinted at the potential of extra Supercars stars making an attempt their hand at NASCAR sooner or later.

“There’s some very proficient guys. Even Brodie [Kostecki] when he got here to Indianapolis, he confirmed some brilliance there. His laptimes had been actually good. There’s guys like Cam Waters and a pair others who’ve indicated that they wish to come and have a go.

“The expertise stage could be very excessive down there (in Supercars). You get in your bubble right here and over there and also you’re simply tunnel imaginative and prescient on what you are centered on reaching and also you sort of do not look exterior your bubble at what different individuals can do. Hopefully I open some eyes and folks begin wanting in direction of New Zealand and Australia to get some expertise coming over and vice versa.”

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