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Shane Van Gisbergen: 2024 Nascar Season So Far

Shane van Gisbergen Focused Health 250 Austin TX 2024
Austin, Tx, USA. 22nd Mar, 2024. Shane van Gisbergen practices for the Focused Health 250 in Austin, TX, USA. (Credit Image: © Stephen A Arce Action Sports Pho/ASP) Licenced To Auto.Racing from Alamy Stock Photo | 2WXCB43

New Zealand’s Shane Van Gisbergen has taken part in three Nascar racing series this 2024 season. In his first full year in NASCAR from one of the most successful Australian Supercars Championship careers to date, in which he lifted the championship trophy three times, he now competes as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024 driving the Chevrolet Camaro No. 97 for Cowlig Racing. Driving for the same team, Van Gisbergen also competes as a part-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, while he competes in the ARCA Menards Series for Pinnacle Racing Group.

2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series: Van Gisbergen takes first win in Portland

Van Gisbergen has competed in all 13 races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, and last weekend he won his first victory at Portland International Raceway. The 35-year-old driver from New Zealand thus achieved his second victory in one of the NASCAR racing series after he celebrated last year at the Grant Park 220 in Chicago.

The previous Saturday in Portland, with eight laps to go, there was a multi-car collision coming out of the 12th turn and after the restart, Van Gisbergen was the best on the track. He managed to overtake Justin Allgaier who was at the head of the column in the first two stages. The New Zealander was overjoyed after his first career victory in the Xfinity Series:

“What a day. It was really cool, had some great racing,” Van Gisbergen said. “I need to get better on my restarts and learn how to position. But I still had fun. Really, really cool racing. I love these cars. They’re great.”

With the victory in Portland, Van Gisbergen, who achieved as many as 81 victories in the Supercar Championship during his career, secured a place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

“It’s been a pretty special nine or 10 months since we started to do this. Pretty stoked to be now in the playoffs, back in victory lane again,” he said.

In addition to his great result in Portland, Van Gisbergen recorded two other top 10 results. At Atlanta Motor Speedway took third place while at Phoenix Raceway finished sixth. He can however regret the developments that unfolded at the race at Circuit of The Americas, which he started in second place and ended up only 27th. He finished the race first, the same place where he started, but received a 30-second penalty for cutting two corners in the last lap.

After that, he had a series of lower placing results, but he put all of that behind him on Saturday in Portland, and after the big win, we’ll now see him in the playoffs. Van Gisbergen is currently 14th overall with 303 points.

NASCAR Cup Series: Van Gisbergen recorded three appearances

Van Gisbergen scored a big win at Chicago last season in his NASCAR Cup Series debut, becoming the first driver in modern NASCAR history to celebrate a win in his debut race. The last time Johnny Rutherford did that was 6 decades ago, and with this victory he became the first New Zealander to win at a NASCAR race. Last season, Van Gisbergen participated in only two races, but that was enough to achieve one victory. In addition to the victory in Chicago, he recorded a 10th place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In 2024, the man who last year became only the sixth driver from outside the US to win a race in the NASCAR Cup series made three appearances, but the results were not exactly commendable. We first saw him in Round 6 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, where he finished the race only in 20th place. There, he made his first appearance in both the Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series on the same weekend, but he didn’t make a name for himself as he was caught speeding on pit road before losing first gear in the final stage. Van Gisbergen was no better in the next two races.

The driver from New Zealand made his next appearance in Round 10 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln. He started 17th, but with smart driving during the second stage he was leading at one point, but his good momentum was destroyed after Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch chopped in front of him. In the end, he finished the race only 28th. He took the same position at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Round 14. In this race, he went through too many boxes and was sent to the back as a punishment, he also suffered damage after contact with Harrison Burton.

2024 ARCA Menards Series – The race at Daytona was over before it started

This season we had the opportunity to watch Van Gisbergen in the ARCA Menards Series and he competed in Round 1 at Daytona in mid-February. The debut in this series did not go very well for Van Gisbergen as dreams of a good result and eventual victory were dashed already on the fourth lap of 100. A multi-car wreck started by Gus Dean who was hit from behind and then crashed into teammate, Tony Breidinger, after which a handful of cars were destroyed. The mechanics managed to fix Van Gisbergen’s car, but he finished the race in 29th place.

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