2023 Chicago Street Race champ Shane van Gisbergen to compete in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024
On Wednesday, Trackhouse Racing announced that Shane van Gisbergen — winner of the inaugural Chicago Street Race in 2023 — will race full-time in the Xfinity Series.
On Wednesday, Trackhouse Racing announced that Shane van Gisbergen — winner of the inaugural Chicago Street Race in 2023 — will race full-time in the Xfinity Series. The New Zealand native arrived in the United States — he’ll be living in Charlotte, North Carolina — and he’s still adjusting to his new era.
“I drove down the street on the wrong side of the road,” van Gisbergen said. “Basic stuff is so similar, but it’s so different here. I moved to Australia when I was 18, in 2007, and lived there ever since. But now, moving to the other side of the world, it’s been a big change.”
History shows that van Gisbergen will adapt quickly. He became the first driver since Johnny Rutherford in 1963 to win his Cup Series start. He’s still adjusting to the newfound attention winning the race brought him.
“When I came for the race, it was a one-off race with Project 91 and Trackhouse,” van Gisbergen said. “You always hope that you’re going to win a race but you never expect to run up front like that and put on the show like we did. “The recognition we got for what we achieved has been massive, and as I said has snowballed into this now I’ve packed up my life, moved countries and changed everything and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.
The three-time Australian Supercars champion knew immediately after winning in Chicago and competing in Indianapolis that he was ready to compete full-time in the NASCAR and Xfinity series.
“In Australia, we do a lot of street races and conventional circuit races, but we only raced five times a year,” van Gisbergen said. “ We aren’t racing every week; we race mainly on ovals and sitting on the left side of the car with no doors.”
van Gisbergen grew up a racing fan: His father was into the sport, so van Gisbergen started taking classes at Speedway when he was eight years old. He grew up near the Pukekohe race track, where he found his racing inspiration.
“Greg Murphy was like my hero,” van Gisbergen said. “Greg always used to win there, and I’d always be watching him just wanting to be like him.”
Racing started off as a weekend endeavor before becoming more competitive and moving to Australia to continue the journey.
Though the Chicago Street Race was the first for NASCAR, van Gisbergen competed in multiple street races in Australia. Now, he’s starting to prepare for his first full year competing in NASCAR events.
His first week in the States has been dedicated to meeting his team and familiarizing himself with how racing works in NASCAR. Everything is currently shut down for the holidays but will ramp back up in the New Year. He said he’s excited to compete again in Chicago.
“It’s the biggest city I’ve ever been to,” van Gisbergen said. “All around the town, there was a bit of a buzz. Obviously, the weather was crazy on Sunday, but still seeing how many fans turned out was really cool.”