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“Obviously Very Difficult” – Shane Van Gisbergen Unable to Recreate Chicago Magic

Published 08/12/2023, 6:02 AM EDT

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The wait is finally over as NASCAR fans witnessed the Kiwi icon square his back against the driver’s seat of his number 42 Chevy and run along the 2.5-mile-long racetrack in Indiana. There had been a lot of anticipation regarding the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but after running the qualifying laps in Friday’s Truck Series race, Shane Van Gisbergen looked quite carefree and confident.

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Although he was not able to recreate his dominant performance at Chicago, SVG’s interview after the race proved how sportingly he has been taking his task of learning the nuances of the ovals. But do not be mistaken; he did not goof around, as he has a clear strategy planned ahead of him.

Shane Van Gisbergen felt like there was a lot for him to learn in NASCAR


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Ty Majeski dominated almost the entire race and beat Christian Eckes. Despite having secured the pole position, Eckes failed to come on top and, after a brief side-to-side battle, lost the lead to Majeski. However, the New Zealand-based motorcar driver found himself in a tussle with Landen Lewis but utilized the higher groove to beat him. Ultimately, SVG ran the race square and fair, finishing 19th.

There is probably a section among the fans who would not be content with his performance, given how much better he did back in Grant Park 220. However, one must keep in mind that this was SVG’s debut oval race. When Bob Pockrass went up to the former Supercar champion after the race was over, the latter revealed his true feelings.


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He said, “I think I just have to do everything. These tracks are obviously very difficult, but it is quite slow and multi-grooved, whereas other tracks, where you fix the one.”

Watch this story: Dale Earnhardt Jr & Fans Slam the NASCAR Drivers for Their Embarrassing “Logjam” Incident in Chicago

It was quite evident from his words that, despite the smirk, SVG had taken this race quite seriously. He admitted, “So many different ways of racing here, so I got a lot to learn I need to try all different cars, all different types of ovals. It’s gonna be a huge learning curve.”

Good for SVG; the race was not as scary as COTA


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In a recent episode of the Dale Jr Download, Shane Van Gisbergen and the JR Motorsports owner reflected on how ruthless the race at Circuit of The Americas was, which took place earlier this year. Even F1 stars like Jenson Button were shocked at the aggression of the drivers, who did not spare even an inch for each other at turn 1. There were multiple contacts, let alone the triple overtime finish.

SVG admitted that he was worried about the wild restarts. But after the race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, he heaved a sigh of relief and said, “It was more respectful than I thought. I watched last year’s race and thought what have I got myself into? But the race was good, it was pretty wide, there were only small contacts, the people I was around were really fun”

So much so that he waved at his friends from the car. The street course race winner continued, “Every step I learn something… it was crazy…I was laughing a fair bit, I had some mates in the infield, I was waving at them. It was a blast!”


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Everyone is now focused on the final race this weekend. There was a perfect balance between taking it easy and buckling up when Shane Van Gisbergen spoke to FOX Sports. Does this mean that SVG will wreak havoc on the other drivers in the final Indy race? Should other road course masters like AJ Allmendinger and, of course, Chase Elliott be concerned? Only time will tell.

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha


One take at a time

Soumyadeep is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has done his Master's in English Literature and is a semi-professional bodybuilder. He has, in recent years, channelized his love and commitment for motorsports into a building career path.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta