Shane van Gisbergen's transition to NASCAR in 2024 has become a lot clearer, as the New Zealander is set to run a full season in the Xfinity Series, driving the No. 97 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing, and a partial season in the Cup Series, driving the No. 91 Chevrolet in at least seven races for Trackhouse Racing Team.
Ever since van Gisbergen announced his full-time transition to NASCAR, many questions have surrounded his plan and how he would go about gaining additional experience on several different types of tracks.
The latest announcement has helped answer many of those burning questions, and it gives us an idea of what Trackhouse Racing Team's plans are for developing the former V8 Supercars star.
Shane van Gisbergen confirms 2024 NASCAR plans
Van Gisbergen burst onto the NASCAR scene this year, winning in his Cup Series debut at the Chicago Street Course, and he followed up that performance with a top 10 showing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
However, road and street courses are just a small portion of NASCAR's diverse schedule, and for a driver with van Gisbergen's background, there will be a learning curve with the ovals.
The Xfinity Series is a series largely designed around helping incoming drivers develop their skills, and it features a wide array of tracks, many of which are also seen on the Cup Series schedule.
It is no secret that van Gisbergen intends to run a full Cup Series schedule in the future, and the moves he and Trackhouse Racing Team are making appear to be moves that will benefit both parties in the long run.
The latest move also happens to be a move that mirrors what fellow former V8 Supercars driver Marcos Ambrose did when he came to NASCAR, running two full seasons in the Xfinity Series before ultimately making the move to full-time Cup Series racing. The move paid off for Ambrose, who went on to win two Cup Series races in his six full seasons.
For van Gisbergen, the full Xfinity Series schedule will expose him to plenty of oval racing, from superspeedways to short tracks. Outside of a single Truck Series start at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis this summer, he has very little experience on oval tracks, and a full season in the Xfinity Series will give him plenty of opportunities to sharpen his skills and further prepare him for an eventual Cup Series ride.
Speaking of the Cup Series, van Gisbergen has also confirmed a seven-race schedule for the 2024 season, and that schedule includes a variety of tracks. He will undoubtedly benefit greatly from running a diversified schedule at the top level.
He plans to race at Circuit of the Americas, Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Chicago Street Course, Watkins Glen International, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway (twice). This slate alone will give him vital experience on both intermediate ovals and superspeedways, two types of tracks on which he has very limited experience.
It remains to be seen how van Gisbergen will perform in his first full Xfinity Series campaign, but given his impressive start in his first two Cup Series races, one can expect him to compete for wins. It's a move that should set him up with great opportunities to continue his development as a NASCAR driver with Trackhous Racing Team down the road.