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Trackhouse Racing adds Supercars champ to Project 91 ride at Chicago

Following the race at Darlington, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks said that Ross Chastain has some things that he needs to clean up. Steve Letarte and Kim Coon discuss the difficult conversations in the garage.

Trackhouse Racing will run three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen to drive the team’s Project 91 entry July 2 at the Chicago street course race on NBC.

The event will mark the Cup debut for the New Zealand native.

“I can honestly say I have dreamed about an opportunity in NASCAR, but really never thought it would become a reality,” van Gisbergen said in a statement from the team. “I can’t wait to get to the states to meet everyone and prepare for Chicago. It’s NASCAR’s first time on the streets of Chicago, so in some ways everyone will be a rookie like me, but I don’t underestimate that it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Trackhouse Racing debuted the No. 91 car — intended for renowned international drivers — with former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen at Watkins Glen. He finished 37th after he was collected in a crash. Raikkonen returned to run for the team at Circuit of the Americas this season, finishing 29th.

Chicago will mark the third race for the Project 91 car.

“I’ll concede the American racing fan might not be as familiar with Shane as they are with Kimi, but if you talk with anyone in Australia, New Zealand, and that part of the world, they will tell you he is one of the most talented drivers on the planet,” team owner Justin Marks said in a statement from the organization.

“He’s used to street racing in heavy cars, and I think everyone will be very impressed with his performance.”

Van Gisbergen drives a Chevrolet Camaro in the Supercars Championship for Triple Eight Race Engineering. He’s won series titles in 2016, ’21 and ’22. He has 78 victories and 47 poles. He’s also won the Bathurst 1000 in 2020 and ’22.

Enhance Health will sponsor the car. Darian Grubb will serve as the team’s crew chief.

The 33-year-old van Gisbergen plans to arrive in America in late June and accompany the team to the June 25 Cup race at Nashville Superspeedway before competing at Chicago the following weekend.

“There is so much I have to learn about these cars and how the races are run,” said van Gisbergen in a statement from the team. “The learning curve will be quite steep, but I am ready for everything they will throw at me. I know a lot of Kiwis and Aussies will be watching, and I’m honored to get this opportunity.”