Three-time Australian Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen came to America and gave the NASCAR regulars a schooling they won’t soon forget Sunday on the streets of Chicago.
Van Gisbergen was victorious in his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the inaugural Chicago Street Race on the downtown streets of the Windy City. A dramatic race on the streets of Chicago that saw drivers compete in both wet and dry conditions.
With two laps to go in regulation, Bubba Wallace locked his tires under braking and slid into Ricky Stenhouse Jr., shoving the No. 47 Chevrolet into the tire barrier and necessitating the yellow flag, sending the race into overtime. Van Gisbergen, driving the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, fended off a charge from Justin Haley in the closing laps.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) July 3, 2023
Martin Truex Jr. crashed into the Turn 1 tire barrier at Lap 68 just as van Gisbergen dove to Haley’s right entering Turn 7 for the lead, setting up a restart with five laps to go. On the restart, van Gisbergen made incredibly daring moves to charge past Haley for the race lead exiting Turn 2. Haley charged back to van Gisbergen’s left down Lake Shore Drive, allowing van Gisbergen to pull a masterful crossover to take over the top spot.
A caution for Alex Bowman’s stalled No. 48 Chevrolet at Lap 45 saw the race’s running order flipped on its lid. Sixteen cars stayed out under caution while the top 21 pit, shuffling Justin Haley to the race lead ahead of Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott. Christopher Bell, who led a race-high 37 laps and swept the stages, was mired farther back in traffic. Ultimately, Bell was involved in two separate incidents and finished 18th.
Haley finished second ahead of Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. Busch stuffed his No. 8 Chevrolet deep into the Turn 6 tire barrier at Lap 3 to bring out the race’s first caution.
Completing the top 10 were Austin Cindric, Michael McDowell, Joey Logano, Ty Gibbs and Chris Buescher.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 3, 2023
Let’s be honest, Shane, when this deal came together, did you honestly feel like this was possible?
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: No, of course not but you always dream of it. Thank you so much to the Trackhouse team and Enhance Health, Project91. What an experience in the crowd out here. This was so cool. This is what you dream of. Hopefully, I can come and do more.
What were you telling yourself on those final few restarts?
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Wow, when we had that back strategy back to 18th I started to worry a bit but had some full stands on some people, and the racing was really good, everyone was respectful. It was tough but a lot of fun.
It’s Monday back in Auckland but I’m sure there’s a party going on about 1:00 in the afternoon. What would your message be to the young drivers back there in Australia and New Zealand?
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: Anything is possible. But the fans in Australia and New Zealand, the response this week and the coverage has been — I can’t explain it. Like the response and the support I’ve got from everyone and even over here how welcoming everyone is, I can’t believe it. Dream come true.
You know everybody is going to want you to drive their car now. Are you up for a full-time Cup ride?
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN: I’m doing one more year in Oz and then I’d love to come over here.
|1||3||91||Shane Van Gisbergen||Enhance Health Chevrolet||78||9||Running|
|2||37||31||Justin Haley||Benesch Law Chevrolet||78||23||Running|
|3||26||9||Chase Elliott||Hooters Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|4||7||5||Kyle Larson||HendrickCars.com Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|5||18||8||Kyle Busch||3CHI Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|6||31||2||Austin Cindric||Discount Tire Ford||78||0||Running|
|7||6||34||Michael McDowell||Chicago Pneumatic Compressors Ford||78||0||Running|
|8||9||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||78||0||Running|
|9||12||54||Ty Gibbs #||Interstate Batteries Toyota||78||1||Running|
|10||15||17||Chris Buescher||Fastenal Ford||78||0||Running|
|11||1||11||Denny Hamlin||Yahoo! Toyota||78||0||Running|
|12||24||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||78||0||Running|
|13||22||24||William Byron||Valvoline Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|14||19||7||Corey LaJoie||Celsius Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|15||28||41||Ryan Preece||Operating Engineers Ford||78||0||Running|
|16||21||43||Erik Jones||DRAIVER Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|17||10||16||AJ Allmendinger||Bath Plant by BCI Acrylics Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|18||4||20||Christopher Bell||CRAFTSMAN Racing For A Miracle Toyota||78||37||Running|
|19||25||38||Todd Gilliland||gener8tor Skills Ford||78||0||Running|
|20||16||14||Chase Briscoe||Mahindra Tractors Ford||78||0||Running|
|21||8||15||Jenson Button||Mobil 1 Ford||78||0||Running|
|22||34||1||Ross Chastain||AdventHealth Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|23||27||78||Josh Bilicki(i)||Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|24||20||6||Brad Keselowski||Elk Grove Village Ford||78||0||Running|
|25||23||42||Noah Gragson #||Wendy’s Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|26||30||51||Andy Lally||Camping World Ford||78||0||Running|
|27||5||99||Daniel Suarez||Worldwide Express Chevrolet||78||0||Running|
|28||2||45||Tyler Reddick||Monster Energy Toyota||78||8||Running|
|29||35||4||Kevin Harvick||GEARWRENCH Ford||78||0||Running|
|30||32||21||Harrison Burton||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford||78||0||Running|
|31||14||23||Bubba Wallace||McDonald’s Toyota||78||0||Running|
|32||11||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops Toyota||77||0||Running|
|33||17||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Dutch Boy Ford||77||0||Running|
|34||36||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Mariano’s/SunnyD Chevrolet||77||0||Running|
|35||33||77||Ty Dillon||Chicago White Sox Chevrolet||67||0||Suspension|
|36||29||3||Austin Dillon||Get Bioethanol Chevrolet||62||0||Accident|
|37||13||48||Alex Bowman||Ally Chevrolet||40||0||Accident|