Skip to main content

Four-time V8 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen begins his NASCAR career in earnest this season in Xfinity and Cup. The season starting at Daytona effectively throws him into the deep end. Though SVG is a seasoned motorsports veteran, superspeedway racing is an altogether new challenge.

“I haven’t really done much pack stuff yet, so watching those races and studying it looks nuts,” van Gisbergen told Autoweek. “Not sure what it’s gonna be like in the middle of a pack. That kind of racing is probably the most far removed from anything I’ve ever done. I have no idea what I’m in for.”

SVG will get a crash course in superspeedway racing Feb. 17. He will drive for Pinnacle Racing Group in the ARCA Menards Series 200-mile race that afternoon. Immediately following the ARCA event, he begins his full-time Xfinity Series ride. He will drive the No. 97 Chevrolet Camaro, a joint venture between Kaulig Racing and Trackhouse Racing.

SVG has watched and studied past ARCA races to prepare for his Daytona double duty. He noted there seems to be “random crashes happening all the time” and unpredictable moves.

“It looks fun until its not,” SVG said.

The 34-year-old Kiwi spoke with Kevin Harvick regarding superspeedway racing. The now-retired veteran has given him advice on viewing the action around him and getting safe in the car. Harvick also told him superspeedway crashes are “the biggest hits you’re ever going to take.”

“That’s not a nice thing to hear, but it’s reality,” van Gisbergen said.

Daytona International Speedway sign
Daytona International Speedway | iStock

SVG is still savoring the opportunity. He said each week of the 2024 season will be a challenge, and he looks forward to seeing where he “fits in.” He also understands he will make some mistakes in his rookie campaign, including “crashing cars.”

SVG must also adjust to his frenetic NASCAR schedule. His 2024 slate includes 33 Xfinity races, seven Cup Series events and his ARCA debut. It’s a major transition from the 12-weekend, 24-race schedule of V8 Supercars.

Van Gisbergen’s career trajectory changed dramatically over the last six months. After capturing a thrilling win at the Chicago Street Race, his first Cup Series event, he’s now moved to North Carolina, signed to run the full Xfinity Series season, and will compete in seven Cup Series races with Trackhouse. His Cup Series schedule includes road course races at Circuit of the Americas, Chicago and Watkins Glen. He will receive additional speedway/superspeedway experience by running in both Talladega races, Las Vegas and Charlotte.