It’s official: Three-time Australian Supercars Champ Shane van Gisbergen is coming to America to race in NASCAR on a fulltime basis starting in 2024.
Trackhouse Racing announced Wednesday night that the winner of NASCAR’s inaugural Chicago Street Race will be part of a NASCAR development program with the team starting in 2024.
Trackhouse had the fielded the car for the 34-year-old Auckland, New Zealand native in Chicago as part of its PROJECT91 effort, a team dedicated solely to getting internationally renowned motorsports stars behind the wheel of a NASCAR racecar.
After that July 2 win, van Gisbergen said that after a “dream come true” weekend, he was open to the idea.
“I’m doing one more year in Oz [Supercars] and then I’d love to come over here,” he said at the time.
In his other NASCAR Cup series start he raced to a 10th-place finish on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 13. Two days prior he raced in the NASCAR Truck series at Indianapolis Raceway Park where he made his paved oval career debut. He kept a lead lap position until the final few laps, finishing 18th.
Shortly after returning to Australia, van Gisbergen and his Supercars team revealed that they would separate at the end of the season freeing van Gisbergen to come to America.
Trackhouse said the development program will include races in 2024 for van Gisbergen in NASCAR’s Cup, Xfinity and Craftsman Truck Series plus some late model and other races.
“This is going to be a tremendous challenge for Shane but he is a tremendous driver as we have all seen,” said Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks. “Next year will be about getting him acclimated to oval track racing, superspeedways, 1.5-mile tracks and everything he has never experienced in his career. It’s obviously going to be a learning process, but we think Shane will perform quite well.”
In a Supercars career that started in 2007, to date van Gisbergen has won 80 races in 501 starts along with 47 pole positions making him the fourth most successful driver in series history. He also won the Bathurst 1000 in 2020 and 2022. He won his first Supercars championship in 2016 and the 2021 and 2022 titles.
“This announcement means so many things to me,” van Gisbergen said.
“I’m proud of what I have achieved here in Australia, but I’m excited by this new chapter in my career and the opportunities that it brings.
“I’m so thankful to everyone who has played a role in my career so far, especially Triple Eight Race Engineering, and looking forward to finishing our year with a few more highlights.
“It is time for a new challenge and this adventure into NASCAR will be the biggest challenge of my career and one I’m really looking forward to. I want to thank Justin Marks (Trackhouse founder and owner) and everyone at Trackhouse Racing who have taken a chance on me and given me this opportunity. I’m excited to get to America and getting the season started.”