Shane Van Gisbergen to race in ARCA Menards Series ahead of Xfinity debut

Shane Van Gisbergen to race in ARCA Menards Series ahead of Xfinity debut

Shane van Gisbergen will be running in the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona Speedweeks in preparation for his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut.

Trackhouse Racing has confirmed that Shane van Gisbergen will compete in the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona with Pinnacle Racing Group. Kaulig Racing has been leased the three-time Supercars champion by Trackhouse Racing for the full Xfinity Series calendar.

The team fielded cars for Luke Fenhaus in the previous season and is perhaps the most competitive Chevrolet partner in that division. Mark Webb, Jerry Webb and seasoned racer and crew leader Shane Huffman run the program.

Shane Van Gisbergen will race in select Cup Series events in addition to his full Xfinity season, which will mark his first full-time NASCAR season. In July 2023, he made his Cup debut with Trackhouse’s Project 91 Chevrolet on the streets of Chicago, and he won.

He participated in two additional races before the 2023 season came to an end: a Truck race at Indianapolis Raceway Park with Niece Motorsports, where he finished 19th in his NASCAR oval circuit debut and a Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, where he finished 10th.

By adding the ARCA race to his schedule, Van Gisbergen will work two shifts on February 17. Later that afternoon comes the Xfinity Series race, which headlines the season.

The New Zealander will compete in the 2024 season’s first Cup race on March 24 at the Circuit of the Americas. The following weekend, he will make his Cup oval debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he will race in both the Xfinity and Cup series.

It remains to be a little strange NASCAR requirement if Shane van Gisbergen has to compete in the ARCA race to be qualified to race. On the other hand, this has long been the usual operating procedure for rookies who haven’t competed on superspeedways even for the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya in 2006.

However, at the time, the ARCA Menards Series race was held the weekend before the Trucks, Xfinity and Cup races. As a result, van Gisbergen has to contend in back-to-back events and be at risk of elimination in a first-lap crash.

That being said, NASCAR would probably allow him to compete in the Xfinity race anyhow, so it’s still a strange rule.

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