By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor
The Grant Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course was the 2023 race that stunned the NASCAR Cup Series world. After winning that race with Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 in his debut, Shane van Gisbergen now will compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and select Cup races.
Van Gisbergen will drive the No. 97 WeatherTech Chevrolet Camaro SS full-time in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing. The team is joining forces with fellow Team Chevy organization Trackhouse. The three-time Supercars Champion with Triple Eight Race Engineering will make his Xfinity and superspeedway debut in the United Rentals 300 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
The Auckland, New Zealand native followed up that surprise victory on the Cup Series’ inaugural Street Course race with his paved oval debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Van Gisbergen finished inside the top-20. He then scored a top-10 finish on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix Circuit.
“After winning in Chicago, I could not stop thinking about racing full time in NASCAR,” said van Gisbergen. “I am still stunned at how quickly this has all come together. I must thank the NASCAR industry and fans for embracing me and allowing me to chase this dream. I respect every driver who has put in the work to make it to the Cup Series, and I am ready to put in that same effort. I am anxious to get started.”
In addition to the full slate of Xfinity races, Van Gisbergen will compete in seven Cup Series races beginning with the Echopark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on March 24. The 34-year-old has four starts with a best finish of third at COTA in Supercars, though it was on a different layout.
Van Gisbergen will also compete in the Cup Series in both Talladega Superspeedway races, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Chicago Street Race, Watkins Glen Int’l, and finally Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The GEICO 500 on April 21 at Talladega will mark the veteran racer’s first Cup Series oval race.
“We know Shane will be incredibly competitive at the road course events in both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series, but we wanted to get him as much experience on NASCAR ovals as possible, so I am really excited about his 2024 schedule,” said Trackhouse Racing founder and owner Justin Marks. “Kaulig Racing has a history of winning in the Xfinity Series and as a fellow Chevrolet team, we are so thankful Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice see the potential in Shane that we see. The anticipation for this season is palpable.”
At Kaulig, Van Gisbergen will have veterans Josh Williams and A.J. Allmendinger as full-time teammates. The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner teaming with Allmendinger marks a potent duo for road course races in Xfinity in 2024. Van Gisbergen has 78 victories in Supercars, a series that competes solely on road courses and street courses.
Of Kaulig’s 23 victories in Xfinity, 15 came with Allmendinger. Nine of those wins came on road courses, including four consecutive wins on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. The team also has two victories in the Cup Series, both with Allmendinger.
“We started our talks with Trackhouse about the possibility of putting SVG in a Xfinity car for a few races quite some time ago, and from there the talks evolved to discussions about how much it would cost to run a full season,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “Once we knew we had an open seat for next season, it became the perfect scenario to put him in the car. We partner with Trackhouse’s pit crew department, and with their key support from Chevrolet, it made teaming up an easy decision.”
Van Gisbergen’s superspeedway and Xfinity debut in the United Rentals 300 at Daytona is scheduled for Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, and available on various international broadcast channels.