Shane van Gisbergen becomes first driver in 60 years to win on NASCAR debut
Reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen wrote history to become the first driver in 60 years to win on their NASCAR Cup Series debut.
The New Zealander had qualified an impressive third in the 37-car field at the Chicago street circuit and made the move on race leader Justin Haley with five laps left to claim a sensational debut win, having been as low as 18th earlier in the race.
“Man, what an experience. It’s so cool, it’s what you dream of. Hopefully I come and do more,” said van Gisbergen.
“When we had that bad strategy back to 18th, I started to worry a bit. Had some full sends on people, the racing was really good, everyone was respectful.
“It was tough, but a lot of fun… anything is possible. I can’t believe it, dream come true.”
Van Gisbergen’s win has sent shockwave down the NASCAR paddock, with rivals praising the Supercars champion.
“He was in a league of his own, and in my opinion, put on a really big-time clinic,” said Chase Elliot, 2020 Cup Series champion who finished third.
“I don’t want to speak for everybody else, but he made me look bad, and I kind of think the rest of us, too. He’s going to go home and tell all of his friends how bad we are.”