The New Zealand native, Van Gisbergen, is gearing up to mark his first appearance in the Cup Series, set to take place on Chicago’s streets this weekend as part of the Project91 initiative by TrackHouse Racing.
Considering his significant experience and accomplishments on street circuits in Supercars, he stands a good chance of putting up a strong performance. However, the vigorous and physical nature of NASCAR, being a new factor, may pose some challenges.
In Supercars, the strict enforcement of driving standards ensures drivers are penalised for recklessly damaging their competitors’ vehicles.
Van Gisbergen was a recent guest on LaJoie’s podcast, where he received a light-hearted warning about potential rivals taking advantage of his one-time participation.
The suggestion was also made that Van Gisbergen could adopt a similar approach, given that he wouldn’t have to confront any rivals after the Chicago race.
LaJoie said, “You can utilise this circumstance either to your benefit or detriment. They don’t have to race against you next week – they will exploit you much more before they exploit me. If someone does that to me, I’ll retaliate the following week. You’re off on a plane come Monday. You could take advantage of someone else, and you wouldn’t have to see them next week.”
Despite this, Van Gisbergen expressed his reservations about adopting such an approach, telling Australian media on Friday morning of his intentions to uphold a respectful racing style.
“I was on Corey LaJoie’s NASCAR podcast, and he suggested I could take liberties because neither of us will be seeing the other next week,” he said. “Their mindset here is quite unusual. But I intend to race as I always do in Australia.
“Just because the regulations here are loose doesn’t mean I’ll run wild, knocking out other drivers. Everyone here is aiming for a positive outcome, competing for championship points or a position in The Chase, particularly if I’m lucky enough to be leading.
“I aim to maintain respect on the track, in hopes of earning a good reputation among fellow drivers, so as to avoid potential repercussions.
“It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Having read or heard Jordan Taylor or Jenson Button’s post-COTA race remarks, they were roughed up and singled out. I hope the situation here is different due to the many barriers, but standing your ground becomes necessary at some point, I suppose.”
Van Gisbergen had a test drive in his Trackhouse Camaro at the Charlotte Roval on Monday and has since been undergoing simulator training to prepare for the Chicago race.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Van Gisbergen’s NASCAR Debut
What is Van Gisbergen’s upcoming race in Chicago?
Van Gisbergen is set to make his Cup Series debut on the streets of Chicago as part of TrackHouse Racing’s Project91 program.
How does Van Gisbergen’s experience in Supercars impact his chances in NASCAR?
Van Gisbergen’s extensive experience and success on street circuits in Supercars could give him a competitive edge in the upcoming race in Chicago.
What is the driving style difference between Supercars and NASCAR?
Supercars have strict regulations on driving standards, penalizing drivers for wrecking competitors. In contrast, NASCAR is known for its rough and tumble nature, where aggressive driving and contact are more common.
How did Van Gisbergen respond to the suggestion of using a one-off drive to his advantage?
Van Gisbergen expressed his discomfort with the approach of using a one-off drive to exploit rivals. He intends to maintain a respectful racing style and not resort to taking out other drivers.
How does Van Gisbergen plan to race in NASCAR?
Van Gisbergen plans to race in NASCAR with the same respectful approach he employs in Australia. He aims to be someone viewed as good to race with and avoid potential retaliation from other drivers.
How is Van Gisbergen preparing for the Chicago race?
Van Gisbergen has been preparing for the Chicago race by sampling his Trackhouse Camaro at the Charlotte Roval and completing simulator work to familiarize himself with the circuit.