CHEVROLET NCS: Van Gisbergen Grabs Chicago Street Race Win in NASCAR Cup Series Debut

   Making the crossover from his Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Supercars Championship to the No. 91 Enhance Health Camaro ZL1, Shane Van Gisbergen’s victory came in his first career NASCAR Cup Series start.

 

·       This marks the first time a driver has won in his first career NASCAR Cup Series start since 1963 (Johnny Rutherford – Daytona International Speedway).

 

·       Van Gisbergen became the sixth driver born outside of the United States to win in NASCAR Premier Series – last accomplished by Trackhouse Racing teammate Daniel Suarez (Sonoma Raceway 2022).

 

·       Van Gisbergen is the sixth different Team Chevy driver to record a NASCAR Cup Series win this season.

 

·       The victory marked Chevrolet’s series-leading 11th NASCAR Cup Series victory this season.

 

·       The winningest manufacturer in NASCAR Cup Series history, Chevrolet now sits at 844 all-time wins in NASCAR’s premier series.

·       Team Chevy drivers swept the top-five finishing positions in the NASCAR Cup Series street race debut – recorded by drivers from four different Chevrolet teams. The feat was last accomplished by the manufacturer one year ago at Road America (July 3, 2022). 

 

 

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 RESULTS:

POS.   DRIVER

1st      Shane Van Gisbergen, No. 91 Enhance Health Camaro ZL1

2nd     Justin Haley, No. 31 Benesch Law Camaro ZL1

3rd      Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hooters Camaro ZL1

4th      Kyle Larson, No, 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1

5th      Kyle Busch, No. 8 3CHI Camaro ZL1

 

 

TOP-FIVE UNOFFICIAL RESULTS:

POS.  DRIVER

1st      Shane Van Gisbergen (Chevrolet)

2nd     Justin Haley (Chevrolet)

3rd      Chase Elliott (Chevrolet)

4th      Kyle Larson (Chevrolet)

5th      Kyle Busch (Chevrolet)      

                                                    

 

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 2, 2023) – In his first career NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) start, Shane Van Gisbergen added his name to the history books after driving the No. 91 Enhance Health Camaro ZL1 to the victory in the inaugural Chicago Street Race. The latest Chevrolet driver to make the crossover into NASCAR’s premier series, Van Gisbergen delivered Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 its first win in the entry’s third-ever start.   

 

“Thank you so much to the Trackhouse team, Enhance Health, PROJECT91,” said Van Gisbergen. “What an experience in the crowd out here. This was so cool. This is what you dream of. Hopefully I can come and do more.”

 

Also driving a Camaro ZL1 in the Supercars Championship, Van Gisbergen turned his first laps behind the wheel of a Next Gen Camaro ZL1 as the series hit the streets of Chicago for a 50-minute practice session. The Chevrolet driver proved to be a contender from the start – topping the leaderboard in practice and going on to post a third-place qualifying effort ahead of the series’ street race debut.

 

At the drop of the green flag, Van Gisbergen maintained a running position at the front of the field – driving his Camaro Zl1 to top-five finishes in the race’s first two stages. With the window of daylight closing at the end of Stage Two, the series made the decision to shorten the event by 25 laps, heightening the importance of pit strategy. PROJECT91’s Crew Chief Darian Grubb opted for a fresh set of tires for the event’s closing laps – putting Van Gisbergen in the eighth position for the lap 61 restart.

Showcasing his mastery making left- and right-hand turns, Van Gisbergen powered through the field to battle a group of Chevrolet drivers at the front of the pack. Closing in on race leader Justin Haley with less than 10 laps to go, Van Gisbergen made the final pass for the top position on lap 71 and never looked back – driving through an overtime finish to claim the historic victory.  

 

Van Gisbergen’s win was celebrated by a strong Bowtie brigade in tow with Chevrolet drivers performing a sweep of the top-five finishing positions in the inaugural event. Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley drove to season-best runner-up finish in his No. 31 Benesch Law Camaro ZL1. Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson came home in the third and fourth-positions, respectively; and Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. The last time Chevrolet accomplished a top-five sweep also came on a road course circuit – recorded one year ago at Road America (July 3, 2022).

 

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season continues at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Quaker State 400 available at Walmart on Sunday, July 9, at 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on the USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

 

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN, NO. 91 ENHANCE HEALTH CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 1st

Let’s be honest, Shane, when this deal came together, did you honestly feel like this was possible?

“No, of course not, but you always dream of it. Thank you so much to the Trackhouse team, Enhance Health, Project91. What an experience in the crowd out here. This was so cool. This is what you dream of. Hopefully I can come and do more.”

 

What were you telling yourself on those final few restarts?

“Wow, when we had that strategy back to 18th, I started to worry a bit. But had some full stands on some people, and the racing was really good, everyone was respectful. It was tough, but a lot of fun.”

 

It’s Monday back in Auckland but I’m sure there’s a party going on about 1:00 in the afternoon. What would your message be to the young drivers back there in Australia and New Zealand?

“Anything is possible. But the fans in Australia and New Zealand, the response this week and the coverage has been — I can’t explain it. Like the response and the support I’ve got from everyone and even over here how welcoming everyone is, I can’t believe it. Dream come true.”

 

You know everybody is going to want you to drive their car now. Are you up for a full-time Cup ride?

“I’m doing one more year in Oz and then I’d love to come over here.”

 

 

JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 BENESCH LAW CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 2nd

Justin Haley had the unenviable task of trying to hold off a three-time Supercars champion with 16 lap less fresh tires. Talk us through final laps there.

“Yeah, it was tough. I put it in the tire barrier yesterday and we stayed up all night. I stayed with the guys through the rain; rewrapped this thing and put a new body on it. Benesch came on for this weekend. Congrats to Project91. It sucks, obviously, where we are right now – we aren’t in position to win every week, so coming that close obviously is not what you want. But just really proud of everyone at Kaulig Racing and what an awesome event. Can’t wait to come back next year.”

 

Once your crew chief, Trent, told you that you were okay on fuel, what clicked in your head to try and go get it because you had no idea where Van Gisbergen was?

“I was really struggling under the braking zones. Felt like I could get off the corner better than anyone, but, I mean, what are you going to do? He had 16 lap fresher tires.

Just strategy, and I feel like I put us behind yesterday putting it in the tire barrier. And then from there, it just kind of trickles and whatnot.

 

But what is there to be disappointed about, you know? We’ll go to Atlanta (Motor Speedway) next week and try our best. Appreciate Kaulig Racing, Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice, for giving me this opportunity and we’ll try to make the best of it.”

 

 

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 HOOTERS CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 3rd

Was there anything more you had to go up and contend with the 91?

“Well, first off, I really appreciate everyone on our Hooters team for just fighting all weekend. I did not do a very good job yesterday, obviously crashing and crashing again today and just kept putting us in big holes. So I have to certainly be better, but I appreciate the effort and the willingness to keep fighting by everybody on our team. I appreciate that and looking forward to going back to work and trying to get better. 

 

Huge congratulations to Shane (van Gisbergen), man that was a clinic. He made us look really, really bad. He is going to go home and tell all of his friends how bad we are. So, I am looking forward to getting to work and hopefully we can figure out how to run with him at the next one he comes to.”

 

He is pretty good, but what kind of momentum does this build for you guys in the Playoff push right now?

“Yeah, I am still of the mindset that we need to win. I need to do a lot better job than I did this weekend to go win. We were gifted an opportunity there at the end and I just could not comfortably out-brake someone enough than really putting myself in a vulnerable position. I felt like when we got the track position, I was trying to get Justin (Haley) as quick as I could. I knew Shane was coming and I needed to get that pass done quicker and try to get going there, but just needed more pace and needed to be faster in a lot of different areas. So, like I said, need to go to work a little bit, but proud of the effort and glad our group never quit.”

 

 

KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 4th

You were patient in the wet, then you lit up like fire when you put slicks on..

“Yeah, I was trying to get my confidence built up while it was wet and I knew as long as it didn’t rain, it was eventually going to dry out.  So, just didn’t want to hurt my car in the wet and tried to maintain the best I could, which we did. As soon as the lanes started to dry out, we were much better than the people braking. We just had a lot more confidence than the people braking around me and was able to get to second and the pit strategy cycle stuff happened and it kind of messed our race up a little bit. But we were able to rebound to finish fourth. So, a great points day for our team and we needed that.  So, had a lot of fun and congrats to the Trackhouse team.  I mean, so much respect to them because that was really cool to watch. Him out my windshield making the moves he was making and taking us all to school. So, he is an extremely amazing race car driver and I hope the rest of the world notices that.  Its pretty damn cool. So just a pleasure to get to race with him and battle with him a little bit.  I know all of Western Springs Speedway in New Zealand is pretty pumped up right now.”

 

Disregarding the rain, what was the whole experience like here on this track in Chicago?

“It was an amazing experience and I hope everybody here enjoyed it as much as I did. I hope the fans here that maybe had never been to a race before enjoyed it.  I hope the city enjoyed it enough to welcome us back because I felt like the buzz around the city last handful of days was amazing. The crowd stuck around the whole race too. I mean, it was downpouring all race long and I was not sure what kind of crowd we were going to have once we got going and it was great.  Without the rain we had yesterday and today, it would have been way better with the concerts and all that. So, hopefully we get another go at it last year because I enjoyed it, I thought NASCAR did a great job with the racetrack, and all that. It got a little messy with the stack up in 11, but aside from that……and we all need to look at that and see how we can do that better to get the lineup right. But, all in all, it was a great event and I just had a great time.”

 

 

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 5th

“The No. 91 passed me there towards the end of the race. Just finding a rhythm- I just couldn’t find that middle all day long. So when you see someone else do it, and you’re like ‘I’ll trust him, I’ll do it.’ 

 

We gave everything we had for the 3CHI Chevy. A good top-five finish; solid run. I wanted more, obviously. I felt like I could’ve got the next two, at least. Just trying to maintain and come home with a good top-five at the end.” 

 

From wet tires to slicks, and the track was still wet in parts – what was that like? 

“Just slick. Just ice to start. You’re trying to brake as hard as you can, as deep as you can, into these turn; but yet as soft as you can so you don’t lock up tires. That was my issue there getting into Turn Six – I just overstepped it a little bit and got the rears locked up. Just could never get it back under control the whole way in. Just was sliding. 

 

Hate it for my guys that we got back behind there, but again, we had a good car that was able to get us good track position to get a good day out of it. 

 

Thanks to Rowdy Energy, Chevrolet, 3CHI, everybody to get us a good finish again today. We’ll see if we can get this again next week.” 

 

How did you think NASCAR managed the race with single-file restarts and everything? 

“They did it alright. That was definitely the way to go. Just trying to finish out two-wide into Turn One with half the track dry, half the track wet, was not going to be good. 

 

Talk about how your day played out in Chicago…

“I mean we put it in the tire barriers there early in the race. Didn’t do us any favors. Trying to get all you can in those icy conditions. It was a bit treacherous, but I just got locked up and couldn’t get it back. Just slid off the track into the tires. Thankfully we didn’t have too much damage. We were able to come in and fix it; get back rolling, get back out there and work on passing some guys. Really wasn’t going too far forward, so we were able to pull a different card on strategy being back there, being back in traffic, and just thinking – maybe, just maybe the race would get cut short for darkness. We played that option and it worked in our favor.” 

 

 

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 DRAIVER CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 16th

“It was a good day for the DRAIVER Chevy. Just got up there and were in a good spot, then got a little behind and crossed up on pit strategy when they shortened the race. Lost a lot of spots there through that cycle and just never could get them back. Only had 25 laps there and a lot of them were yellow, so it kind of is what it is. I thought we had good speed, a good car. Just got mired too far back in the pack to try and get back up front and contend. Solid day, though. Good car and had a lot of fun.” 

 

 

NOAH GRAGSON, NO. 42 WENDY’S CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 25th

“Today was kind of crazy – it the course was so different than yesterday – I really had fun yesterday and today was just so different. It was definitely a learning experience for sure. We had good speed in qualifying and had an incident early on. Lost two laps and then got them both back so we battled a bit. We had a lot of fun with Wendy’s this weekend and it was so cool to see how many fans stayed through all that rain to watch the race. I’m proud of what all we did with Wendy’s for bringing out the Baconator to Chicago. We had a fast No. 42 Chevy last time in Atlanta so just looking forward to next week and getting back there. Overall a fun weekend, just wanted a better result.”

 

 

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 GET BIOETHANOL CAMARO ZL1

Finished: 36th

“Unfortunate ending to an exciting day. Road racing has never come easy to me, but the work and effort has started to show up. Proud of the fight today by the No. 3 Get Bioethanol Chevy team. As far as clipping the wall, I knew it would be an issue. I even talked about coming to this place knowing you can’t peak out to get more air. In this instance, I didn’t feel like I peaked out, just had my car setup for an early apex, it was turning and just caught the wall. Thankful for our partners at Get Bioethanol. We had the green machine rolling pretty good. We will keep fighting.”

 

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN, NO. 91 ENHANCE HEALTH CAMARO ZL1 – Race Win Press Conference

 

THE MODERATOR: We’ve now been joined by our race winner of today’s NASCAR Street Race at Chicago. We’ve been joined by Shane Van Gisbergen.

 

Congratulations on today’s win. Take us back to when you did receive that call from Justin. Did you ever imagine that you would be sitting here this evening?

 

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, good evening, everyone. The short answer is no. Like it’s something that I guess you dream about.

 

As Justin was saying, when he first approached me about it, he said it could happen and I’m on the short list, and when he gave me that call, it was pretty special.

 

I guess preparation started, and admittedly I haven’t watched NASCAR too closely the last couple years. I was a big fan like 10 years ago. I was a big Tony Stewart fan, so working with Darian was pretty special.

 

I became a student of the sport really and tried to study as much as I can about how the races were and how the drivers are, how the cars are, and I was a bit scared after COTA, but it was really cool.

 

Like coming a week early, going to Nashville, being part of the Trackhouse team and then meeting all the Project91 guys. The prep was intense, but we’re very thorough, and I felt ready.

I knew it was going to be difficult, though. Like the amount of road courses the guys do now, there are very good drivers here, and it was tough. Qualifying yesterday was intense, and the racing, the battles were really fun, but everyone was respectful and clean, and it was really cool.

 

Q. I know Kyle Larson came to congratulate you, but when he was in here, he was wondering I guess what you thought about the field. He said, I think when a guy like that can come in and kick your ass at your own game it shows we all have room to improve. I’m curious what he thinks about us. He obviously passed a lot of us, so I am curious if he thinks we all suck or if we could actually compete like if we weren’t really that bad. What did you think of them?

 

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: I’m sure if it was an oval it would be the other way around. I guess this is my sort of bread and butter, the street circuits. Almost half of our series races are street circuits. I’m comfortable with the walls. It took me a bit to learn the proximity of the car, having the car on the other side of me, so I was missing apexes turning left and struggling turning right to know where that side of the car was.

 

But yeah, I got better and better, and in qualifying I left a lot on the table. It’s very intimidating on these straights. You have 90-degree corner and no runoff. I left a lot on the table in braking, and every lap today I was learning and getting better.

 

But those guys are good. In the wet the tire was so different to anything I’m used to, but they were straight into it and just into it. When I got on the slicks again I was probably a bit too timid and the guys were all over me.

 

The next restart I was just trying to find my feet a bit and figure out how everyone races and what it’s like.

 

Everyone is good, and the passes they were making were committed. I probably was a bit too nice to some people, but that’s how it was.

 

Coming back through the field, I thought, once the race got shortened we had to pit in order to make it on fuel, and I thought it was going to be difficult from 18th.

 

I don’t know the paint schemes that well or the numbers so I was kind of trying to read the numbers on the wind screen to figure out who people were when I come up on them and try to remember who’s good and who’s not.

 

Yeah, had some really good battles coming through. Some guys waved to me and some guys battled hard, which was really cool. Everyone was clean and I got a couple of taps. I tapped a couple of people. There was that crazy restart at Turn 11. The spotter was going off. I’ve never raced with a spotter before and I normally would have just barreled on and joined the crash. It was pretty cool to see how that side of it works.

 

Q. I’ve seen all of your wins in your career. Where do you think this one ranks? I’ve certainly got it right up there.

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, it’s obviously pretty high. Like Supercars is my dream, and winning that championship and races like Bathurst over there are still top of the list. But to come in and do this, yeah, I don’t know where it ranks yet. It’s still sinking in.

 

It’s obviously one of the most special victories I’ve ever had, and yeah, to share it with so many people, to have my dad come over and a few other family, and, yeah, like how awesome this team is, it’s great. Trackhouse is such a cool organization to be part of. The atmosphere in the team, I’ve never really experienced anything like it before.

 

Q. Probably more relaxed than I’ve seen in a couple of years. Does it feel like this is the sort of place you could come to race full time?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: I miss racing in the States. I’ve done Daytona four or five times now and just the way the American people are and how they go racing, it’s so much more enjoyable. And even doing the media stuff, which I hate, everyone here is really nice. They ask good questions and they’re respectful and it goes both ways. Everyone here has made me feel comfortable, and it’s so enjoyable the way the races are run.

 

The qualifying at Nashville, I couldn’t believe how relaxed everyone was. But then it was like a

switch. The intensity turns on and away it goes.

 

I’m committed next year to Supercars. I still love Supercars and hope it goes well there. But in ’25, who knows.

 

Q. You thought you had a motor problem there? Were you just being a little paranoid and hearing things?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, I got close to the fence and it echoes funny off the fence sometimes, and I thought it sounded funny. I looked at the lap times. We went from doing high 29s to 31s on that last restart, and I wasn’t really pulling away that much where I felt like I was trying.

 

Then the water pressure, I don’t really understand imperial that much, so the settings are a little bit different to me, so I started stressing when they changed color. But that’s normal under yellow

and under green and stuff.

 

I had put the radiator fans on for when I was in traffic, and it just got too cold when I was out front. So that was my bad, and, yeah, I need to be able to switch or get them to change the dash to Celsius.

 

Q. There was quite a few of your supporters here from Australia and New Zealand. Did you get a chance to interact with a lot of them? What was that like throughout the weekend?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, I’ve never done 50,000 photos on the podium before, but there was some guys with SVG shirts that came from Australia and came to watch the race. They snuck up on to the podium and took some photos with them.

 

The support we’ve had and the interest from people in Australia and New Zealand, it’s overwhelming and so cool to see how interested people are in this race.

 

Hopefully shows how good our Supercars drivers are and opens the floodgates and we can come over here and race. There hasn’t been anyone from Supercars since Marcos really come and have a go, but there’s plenty of good drivers now wanting to come try and expand and come over here. Any of the top 10 in Supercars are good enough to come and do what I just did.

 

Q. It was a big deal changing the city streets to a race car track here in Chicago, but also this is usually the weekend where it rains. How did this track compare to what you have experienced before? What kind of adjustments did you have to make based on the way the track ran and the weather?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, it’s pretty similar to some tracks we have. Like the last half of Surfer’s Paradise is pretty similar to this. But the changes in surface were extreme. To go from old to new, and then the concrete. I’ve never driven on concrete like that really. Maybe Sebring a little bit. But then when it rained the concrete was crazy slippery for everyone, so quite different.

But for NASCAR, like 6their first-ever street race and the way the weekend run, unfortunately the Xfinity Series didn’t happen, but yeah, it’s credit to NASCAR to nail it on their first weekend. Hopefully it leads to more street courses, and I’d love to be here for them.

 

Q. You alluded to this earlier, but in V-8 Supercars you sit on the right, shift with your left, and here you’ve got the exact opposite and pedals in different positions, that sort of thing. How long did it take you to adjust to that, and how did you prevent the muscle memory from kicking in at any point during the race?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, I guess that’s something I’ve been quite diverse in the last few years. My rally car last year was left-hand drive and change gears with the right hand, so fairly similar.

 

But it’s been a long since I’ve driven anything without a flat shift, so learning the technique and timing, how to change gears quick, I was a bit slow on the straights yesterday and I think I got a little bit better today.

 

A little bit different, but I got comfortable. The team really helped me to get comfortable. We ran out of adjustment a little bit to get the brake pedal in the spot that I liked. I couldn’t get it far enough to the right. But otherwise I was very comfortable in the car.

 

Yeah, the most difficult thing on a street track was the car on the other side, having that meter and a half of metal on that side instead of the left, it just took a little bit. I probably left a bit on the table with that.

 

Q. When did you know toward the end of that race that you could win the race? Talk me through that battle with Justin Haley at the end where you went back and forth into Turn 4, 5, 6.

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, when I started catching him, I actually put a move on him into 7 right when the yellow come out. That’s when I thought I knew it would be okay because he didn’t defend as hard as I thought.

 

But yeah, after that restart it was a good battle, and out of Turn 2, I probably could have shut him down more aggressively, but I didn’t have the mirror set up good enough on that side and let him get through.

 

But I saw when I was catching him, he was a little bit weak into the Turn 4 braking. I just let him have it and then crossed to the inside. That was probably one of my car’s strengths was braking there.

 

But yeah, he was awesome to race against. The guys told me he’d probably be aggressive at the restarts. I don’t think he’s locked into the Chase they said. Yeah, I tried to get as good of a jump out of the last corner to make a gap into Turn 1.

 

Q. I’m curious, Marcos Ambrose, of course a lot of experience in NASCAR. Did you talk with him before this race?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, and he was amazing, how open he was. It was probably himself and Owen Kelly. Also Boris Said a little bit. They were so open about how to fit in really, what to expect, how the guys are going to race. Marcos was awesome. Yeah, can’t thank him enough. Every little bit of preparation, it all helped, all that advice.

 

Yeah, it was really cool.

 

Q. What piece of advice that he gave you, what came into play during the race today that you really noticed?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, don’t talk about understeer and oversteer. No one knows what that is here. It’s all loose and tight and stuff here. Had to change my terminology a bit. Darian is a good ol’ boy. Have to use those words. It was cool. Like you hear that stuff, everyone talk about it on the radio.

 

It’s quite a different way of working and describing the car and the way the pit stops work, the spotters. It’s a completely different world to me.

Yeah, all that little stuff added up.

 

Q. Kyle Busch was in here earlier, and it was his assessment that because of your experience with V-8 Supercars that you have four to eight years on the full-time Cup guys when it comes to driving this Next-Gen car because of the similarities. Based off of like a week of driving this car, do you think that’s anywhere close to an accurate assessment?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: I don’t really know the answer. Definitely a street circuit I’m more comfortable in, and come back next year a lot of those guys will be quicker. The way the car achieves its speed is very different with the aero under the floor rather than over the top with the spoilers and wings like we have.

 

So, yeah, riding on the bump stops here, it was crazy how bumpy this track was. But it’s so powerful, the under floor, that they do everything they can to activate it, so you can see everyone just hitting the bumps and riding so hard; whereas we in Australia ride so high and soft to try and make the car compliant. So very different philosophy.

 

Then of course the rear diff. We have a locked diff, and this car has an open one and it just turns so much better than what we have. So yeah, huge differences in cars, but I think the street races, the more they do here, the better they’ll get. You could see guys leaving a lot on the table on corner exits to the wall, where I wasn’t afraid of getting close.

 

Q. There were a lot of people from your country and Australia that come over here to watch dirt racing, but it’s been more than a decade since Ambrose won in NASCAR. What kind of impact will having guys like you, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, have on our sport of bringing outside eyeballs on to stock car racing?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Yeah, it’s an amazing opportunity and probably something we couldn’t have done in the old car. That car looked so foreign to everything else, where this car is a bit more relative to all race cars around the world.

 

Yeah, it’s appealing. Like you said, Jenson yesterday, he was so competitive and we were both running up front probably where we shouldn’t be. It was pretty cool, and this car now allows people to do it.

 

Hopefully people look outside the circle a bit more and let foreigners come and race.

But for sure an oval race would be a completely different world. I’d love to try it, but that would be the four to eight years to get up to speed for sure. It’s so difficult or looks so difficult and intense how that all works. I’d love to give it a go.

 

Q. Obviously you’ve got a lot of street race experience, but as this particular track, as you got more and more familiar with it as the day went along, what section did you really like and what sections were you like, I don’t really like this, this kind of sucks?

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Probably from Turn 6 onwards, and then you got to the tight, twisty technical stuff. I could see yesterday the first — like I was four tenths down on Denny up to that Turn 6 and then the rest of the lap I was very strong.

 

I was quite confident through there with how close you had to be to the walls, and then overnight I really had to work on the first half of the track.

 

I think I got better at that today, but yeah, there’s no bad parts to the track. That’s all just character and how it is.

 

But definitely the last half of the lap, it was really cool to hustle the thing through there.

 

THE MODERATOR: Shane, congratulations again. Thanks for joining us, and we hope to see you again soon.

GM PR