Shane van Gisbergen To Make NASCAR Return at Indy

He’s coming back.

Shane van Gisbergen, the three-time Supercar champion and winner of the July 2 inaugural Chicago Street Race in his lone NASCAR Cup Series start, will return to the Cup Series Aug. 13 on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 34-year-old Auckland, New Zealand native will again race the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the Trackhouse Racing team’s PROJECT91 program. 

“I never dreamed this could have all rolled out this way,” said van Gisbergen who returned to Supercar competition in Australia days after leading nine laps and winning by 1.259 seconds in overtime at Chicago.

“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.”

Van Gisbergen became one of six foreign born drivers to win a Cup Series race and the first driver since Johnny Rutherford in 1963 to win his first Cup Series start. It was just the latest entry in a resume that includes Supercars Championships for Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2016, 2021 and 2022 plus 78 wins and 47 pole positions making him the fourth most successful driver in series history. He also won the Bathurst 1000 in 2020 and 2022.

Marks created PROJECT91 last year intent on expanding the organization’s global reach by fielding a Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers. Indianapolis will mark the fourth race for PROJECT91 after appearances by 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in 2022 and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 26.

Marks admitted thoughts of bringing van Gisbergen back to NASCAR began as soon as the checkered flag fell in Chicago.

“After a performance like that it’s only natural to want to keep this going,” said Marks. “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.”

Van Gisbergen will join Trackhouse drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain at Indianapolis. Chastain won the June 25 race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway a week before van Gisbergen’s Chicago victory. A week after Chicago, Suárez finished second at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.

Darian Grubb, 47, will again serve as van Gisbergen’s crew chief. His resume includes a 2011 championship with Tony Stewart and the 2006 Daytona 500 victory with Jimmie Johnson. The Chicago victory marked Grubb’s 24th victory as a crew chief.

“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,” Grubb said.

“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.”

NBC will televise the 200-mile race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course at 2:30 PM EDT on Aug. 13. 

Trackhouse Racing PR