Three-time Supercar champion and NASCAR’s only undefeated driver Shane van Gisbergen will make his NASCAR Cup Series return Sunday driving the No. 91 Enhance Health Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
The Indy race comes just 42 days after the 34 year-old Auckland, New Zealand native became a star in American motorsports by winning the inaugural Chicago Street race in his first ever NASCAR start.
“This whole NASCAR experience has been a dream come true,” van Gisbergen said recalling the rainy Chicago race that propelled him to a household name in American motorsports.
“I can’t wait to get to America then Indy. It will certainly be different than the Chicago Street Course. I’ll need to get up to speed quickly, but we plan a lot of simulator time and I know (No. 91 Crew Chief) Darian (Grubb) will be thoroughly prepared for Indy.”
He said he plans to compete the same way he did in Chicago, driving hard while also cognizant that several NASCAR regulars will be racing to secure playoff berths with just three races remaining in the Cup Series regular season.
“We have got to come in and do our best, but you also have got to race with respect as well,” said van Gisbergen. “These guys are fighting for their championship every week, so I have got to come in and stay out of trouble.”
Van Gisbergen won’t be the only new face in the field at Indianapolis.
Australian Supercar driver Brodie Kostecki will make his Cup Series debut as will two-time FIA World Endurance champion, 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and one-time Formula 1 podium finisher Kamui Kobayashi. Formula 1 World Champion (2009) Jenson Button will also race at IMS.
Van Gisbergen will join Trackhouse drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain at Indianapolis. Chastain won the June 25 race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway a week before van Gisbergen’s Chicago victory. A week after Chicago, Suárez finished second at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.
Suárez and Chastain finished sixth and seventh at Michigan Monday afternoon.
Enhance Health, a leading digital health insurance brokerage and care navigation platform will return as primary sponsor of the No. 91. The Chicago race marked Enhance Health’s first sponsorship in NASCAR. The company will run a sweepstakes offering unique racing merchandise for winners. For more information go to: https://enhancehealth.com/racing
It will be a busy weekend for van Gisbergen who will race the No. 41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports in the Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on the 0.686-mile oval at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) just seven miles from the IMS.
“I’ve never really thought about ovals too much but I’ve always said I would love to have a go and I guess Friday night I’ll get my shot,” said van Gisbergen who spent Monday in America doing seat fittings and working in the Niece and Trackhouse race shops. “It’s going to be a steep learning curve no doubt.”
Van Gisbergen drives a Chevrolet Camaro in the Supercars Championship for Triple Eight Race Engineering, winning championships in 2016, 2021 and 2022. He owns 79 wins and 48 pole positions making him the fourth most successful driver in series history.
He’s won the Bathurst 1000 in 2020 and 2022. Van Gisbergen isn’t a stranger to America, finishing second in the 2015 24 Hours of Daytona in the GTD class.
The event will mark the fourth race for PROJECT91 after appearances by 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in 2022 and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 26.
Trackhouse founder and owner Justin Marks launched PROJECT91 with the goal of creating a racing brand that transcends the sport attracting the world’s best drivers.
Van Gisbergen’s victory elevated PROJECT91 even higher.
“It just puts fuel in the tank as far as we’re trying to build something here where the greatest drivers in the world have a place that they can call home if they want to try NASCAR racing,” said Marks.
“For us to put it in Victory Lane, it just shows, I think, the world that this PROJECT91 is a very, very elite effort. It’s not about vanity. It’s not about just sponsorship. It’s not about social media. It’s about putting a program together that can actually win and tell great stories.
“I think the fact that we put it in Victory Lane, it just galvanizes our mission in trying to attract the greatest motorsport talent in the world.”
FS1 will televise Friday’s truck series race from IRP at 9 p.m. EDT and NBC will televise Sunday’s race on the IMS road course at 2:30 PM EDT.
Trackhouse Racing PR