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Van Gisbergen wants NASCAR oval shot

Shane van Gisbergen wants a shot at a NASCAR oval race after being trackside in Nashville this weekend.

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The Supercars star is set to make his NASCAR debut at the Chicago street race next weekend as part of Trackhouse Racing's Project 91 programme.

He jetted into the United States late last week to begin his preparations, which included being trackside with the team in Nashville over the weekend, watching teammate Ross Chastain score pole and a win.

The up-close experience with oval racing has piqued van Gisbergen's interest, the Kiwi admitting during a press conference ahead of the race that he had itchy feet on the sidelines.

As such he's now very much open to NASCAR start on a speedway in the future – and has even talked to Trackhouse boss Justin Marks about it.

“We had a small chat about that earlier," said van Gisbergen.

"I’ve never really thought about ovals too much but you’d love to have a go.

"Like, watching yesterday how committed the guys were in qualifying... and they had the practice and then you sit around all day and you get one lap. So to see how committed everyone was, and see who was braver than the others into turn 1, it was pretty cool to watch.

"It sucked watching, I wanted to be out there. So yeah, I’d want to have a go one day."

Van Gisbergen has completed a seat fitting and will get his first real-world NASCAR experience tomorrow (US time) when he samples the Trackhouse Chevrolet on the Charlotte Roval.

He will then head back to the simulator before hitting the streets of Chicago next weekend.

“Tomorrow we get a bit of a short test; hopefully weather stays fine for it," he said.

"That’s just to get a feel and make sure that I’m comfortable in the car and everything is working, and then it’s all simulator stuff really.

"I think I get two sessions in the sim trying to learn and just get comfortable with the car and also the dynamic of the team with the engineer and crew chief, working out how that communication works.

"The strategy is quite different, so I have got to do a lot of study on that; obviously the pits close when the yellow comes out, you don’t have a pit speed limiter and stuff like that, so just learning how to manage that side of the race is quite different.

"And then obviously we’re not racing for points so we don’t have to focus on the stages and stuff like that.

"I guess we have got to come in and do our best, but you also have got to race with respect as well. Like, these guys are fighting for their championship every week, so have got to come in and stay out of trouble."

Van Gisbergen is under contract with Triple Eight in Supercars until the end of 2024, but has made little secret of his openness to an overseas move after that.

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