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Shane van Gisbergen makes a seven-word confession about the intimidating nature of Daytona Superspeedway

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Shane van Gisbergen is causing a stir in the racing world with his move from supercar racing to NASCAR. In the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, SVG, driving for Trackhouse Racing, made a notable debut with victory at the Grant Park 220 in Chicago. He became the first driver to win a debut NASCAR Cup Series race since IndyCar driver Johnny Rutherford in 1963.

SVG drives the No. 97 car for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series and is considered one of the most promising NASCAR drivers of this era. However, it often happens that drivers have difficulty driving on a particular route. In a recent interview, Shane van Gisbergen spoke about the most challenging race he has ever experienced in NASCAR. And guess which one it is?

Shane van Gisbergen calls it ““It’s crazy when accidents happen” on this route

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After the race in Richmond, Shane van Gisbergen sat down for an interview with Rubbin Racing. He encountered inquiries about the racetrack that gave him a feeling of challenge. Without giving it much thought, SVG adopted the name Daytona International Speedway. We all know that Daytona has this reputation for certain reasons, but to everyone's surprise, the New Zealand racer mentioned that there is no escape from the accidents at Daytona and that you can just jump into the wreckfest.

“Yeah, probably Daytona, when you're all in a pack, within a second or two there's 30 to 40 cars and you just go full throttle at top speed. And when you're in the middle of it and I thought it was a bit much for me, but you have to stick with it. You can't get out of it and it's crazy when accidents happen. There’s nothing you can do, you just pile in.” said Shane van Gisbergen.

Shane van Gisbergen faced a challenging race in his Xfinity Series debut at Daytona International Speedway. It wasn't the start he expected after Chicago's win last year. Despite three separate incidents and nine warnings, he showed remarkable resilience. After falling behind the lead lap twice, he made impressive comebacks using the lucky dog/free pass rule, which ultimately allows a car to gain a lap with each caution. In the final moments he skillfully avoided a final lap incident in the leading group.

Ultimately, SVG finished in 12th place, crossing the finish line just 2.914 seconds behind winner Austin Hill. Given the difficulties he faced, this result was a well-deserved reward for van Gisbergen's persistence on the track.

His chaotic Xfinity debut at Daytona International Speedway

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From fifth position, Shane van Gisbergen navigated through the chaos and completed the entire 120 laps. The pole sitter and another debutant, Jesse Love, directed the action from the outside. At the end of the fifth round, SVG was in 11th place. As the field formed into a single file formation, he strategically moved up to 18th on the 20th lap. The first stage was nearing its end and van Gisbergen tried to achieve a final result but faced challenges. Nevertheless, he climbed to 16th place on the outside.

However, there was a caution on lap 22 incident at the back of the field, affecting four riders, including SVG's Trackhouse teammate Daniel Suarez. Jesse Love continued to lead after the restart and some riders sacrificed points potential by pitting before the end of the stage. He narrowly held off Austin Hill to secure the first 30-lap stint, while Shane van Gisbergen finished in P15. After pit stops he was on the outside line in fifth place. However, on the second restart, the inside lane stormed forward and SVG fell back to fourth place.

Unfortunately, contact between two drivers in the center lane caused Jesse Love to spin and collide with AJ Allmendinger, who was driving directly in front of SVG. With nowhere to go, he hit the wall and was hit again by a spinning vehicle. According to Xfinity Series regulations, teams have six minutes to repair damaged cars. Kaulig Racing used this time efficiently to restore its starting position. Shane van Gisbergen returned to the track in 31st place, but one lap behind the rest of the field. Despite these major challenges right from his debut, SVG's composure came through.

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Shane van Gisbergen ignores Justin Mark's mysterious vision for his Cup future

He is now preparing for the spring race at Martinsville Speedway, driven by the desire to capture a highly anticipated victory in the Xfinity Series.