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Van Gisbergen's Daytona ARCA debut marred by early crash

Shane van Gisbergen barely got a taste of stock car superspeedway racing in his ARCA Menards Series debut Friday night at Daytona International Speedway.

Shane van Gisbergen, Trackhouse Racing Team

NASCAR Media

The three-time Supercars champion logged only three laps in the race before as he was one of more than two dozen cars caught up in multi-car wreck on lap four of 100.

Gus Dean got loose after getting hit from behind and turned into Venturini Motorsports team-mate Toni Breidinger in Turns 1 and 2, which triggered the pile-up that collected several contenders for the win, including van Gisbergen.

“I didn’t last long in that race,” said van Gisbergen. “It sucked.

“We were just learning, getting through a few [laps].

“Just trying to be patient and I saw a crash up ahead and I slowed up pretty good I thought but just got slammed from behind. That sucked.

“It was shame. Hopefully, we can do better in the Xfinity race.”

Van Gisbergen's team was able to repair his #28 Chevrolet enough to return to the track after 25 laps and he went on to finish 29th.

 

Van Gisbergen was running the ARCA season opener with Pinnacle Racing Group to get superspeedway experience in preparation for his Xfinity Series debut this weekend.

Van Gisbergen’s day got off to a rough start as he struggled in qualifying to keep up with his group and failed to make the 40-car field on speed. After another team withdrew, van Gisbergen was the next car to earn entry into the field.

The race was slated to run on Saturday afternoon but was rescheduled for late Friday night after the NASCAR Truck race due to expected bad weather all weekend.

Last July, van Gisbergen became the first driver in more than 60 years to win a Cup race in his debut when he took victory in the inaugural Chicago Street Race driving for Trackhouse Racing.

The victory served as the instigator for the Kiwi to move to NASCAR competition this season, where he will compete full-time in Xfinity and run at least seven Cup races.

He made his oval race debut last August in a Truck Series race at the 0.686-mile Indianapolis Raceway Park short track.

The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner had five previous starts in the IMSA SportsCar Championship's Daytona 24 Hours, but his only experience on the track’s 2.5-mile oval course was limited to a two-day ARCA test in January.

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