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Race report

NASCAR Cup Chicago: Van Gisbergen takes dramatic win on debut

Shane van Gisbergen crashed the inaugural NASCAR Chicago Street race party with victory in his first start.

With NASCAR celebrating its 75th anniversary, van Gisbergen stunned the motorsport world by winning the rain-delayed first street race in Cup series history.

A late caution for a two-car crash sent the race into a two-lap overtime but van Gisbergen, who had grabbed the lead on the previous restart, had little trouble holding off Justin Haley by 1.259 seconds to claim the win.

The Kiwi did a traditional burnout on the main straight in his Trackhouse Racing #91 Chevrolet to the roar of the crowd as the sun set in downtown Chicago.

Asked if he thought a victory was even possible in his first series start, van Gisbergen said: “No, of course not, but you always dream of it. What an experience in the crowd out here.

“This was so cool. This is what you dream of. Hopefully, I can come and do more.”

Van Gisbergen said when he fell back to 18th after his final pitstop he was worried about his ability to return to the front.

“The racing was really good, everyone was respectful. It was tough but a lot of fun. The fans in Australia and New Zealand, the response this week and the coverage has been – I can’t explain it.

“Like the response and the support I’ve got from everyone and even over here how welcoming everyone is, I can’t believe it. Dream come true.”

Shane van Gisbergen, Trackhouse Racing, Enhance Health Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his victory

Shane van Gisbergen, Trackhouse Racing, Enhance Health Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his victory

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

The three-time Australian Supercars champion looked to be a contender all weekend. He was fastest in Saturday’s practice and came up just short in qualifying for the pole and started third.

Once NASCAR declared it was shortening the original 100-lap race to 75 laps due to darkness, after the start was delayed by more than an hour-and-a-half due to torrential rain, van Gisbergen was one of the last to pit and had fresher tyres.

With van Gisbergen chasing down the leaders, Martin Truex Jr. crashed at Turn 1 to place the race under caution and set up a late restart.

Van Gisbergen jumped on Haley on the restart with five laps to go and swept around him in Turn 2 to move into the race lead.

But the drama continued when Bubba Wallace clashed with Ricky Stenhouse Jr and both slammed into the Turn 1 barriers to bring out a caution and send the race into a two-lap overtime, but van Gisbergen held his nerve to complete a historic victory.

Van Gisbergen’s ride this weekend was courtesy of Trackhouse’s Project 91, which provides rides to international motorsport stars, so they can gain an entry into the Cup series.

Chase Elliott – who started the race in a back-up car from the rear of the field – finished third, Kyle Larson was fourth and Kyle Busch overcame an early wreck to claim fifth.

Austin Cindric took sixth place ahead of Michael McDowell and Joey Logano, as Ty Gibbs and Chris Buescher completed the top 10.

NASCAR Cup Chicago - Race results

Cla Driver Manufacturer Laps Gap Interval
1 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Chevrolet 78    
2 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 78 1.259 1.259
3 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 78 1.685 0.426
4 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 78 2.448 0.763
5 United States Kyle Busch Chevrolet 78 2.801 0.353
6 United States Austin Cindric Ford 78 3.915 1.114
7 United States Michael McDowell Ford 78 4.461 0.546
8 United States Joey Logano Ford 78 5.641 1.180
9 Ty Gibbs Toyota 78 6.382 0.741
10 United States Chris Buescher Ford 78 6.550 0.168
11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 78 6.734 0.184
12 United States Aric Almirola Ford 78 8.028 1.294
13 United States William Byron Chevrolet 78 8.242 0.214
14 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 78 8.549 0.307
15 United States Ryan Preece Ford 78 8.894 0.345
16 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 78 10.053 1.159
17 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 78 10.589 0.536
18 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 78 10.959 0.370
19 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 78 11.471 0.512
20 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 78 11.776 0.305
21 United Kingdom Jenson Button Ford 78 11.991 0.215
22 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 78 13.327 1.336
23 United States Josh Bilicki Chevrolet 78 13.871 0.544
24 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 78 14.672 0.801
25 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 78 14.966 0.294
26 United States Andy Lally Ford 78 15.830 0.864
27 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 78 16.125 0.295
28 United States Tyler Reddick Toyota 78 16.390 0.265
29 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 78 17.993 1.603
30 United States Harrison Burton Ford 78 18.740 0.747
31 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 78 39.709 20.969
32 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 77 1 Lap 1 Lap
33 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 77 1 Lap 1.117
34 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 77 1 Lap 10.607
35 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 67 11 Laps 10 Laps
36 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 62 16 Laps 5 Laps
37 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 40 38 Laps 22 Laps

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