Six interesting quotes from a Shane Van Gisbergen NASCAR press conference

The Supercars champion turned NASCAR Cup winner is enjoying himself here

NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying
Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In the truest sign that Shane Van Gisbergen is acclimating to life in the United States, specifically the 704, he too has immediately grown to hate the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

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There’s also the whole winning in the NASCAR Xfinity Series thing, something he accomplished last weekend at Portland International Raceway, punching his ticket into the playoffs for the second-tier stock car division. He’s also become more comfortable with the American style of racing and its unorthodox style of measuring literally everything.

SVG was one of the featured guests of the NASCAR weekly media press conference on Tuesday and it was a fascinating conversation about how his life has changed in the year since he won the inaugural Cup Series street race in Downtown Chicago.

He says he expects to be in the Cup Series next season.

“That’s why I moved here, right,” he said. “I haven’t been told that’s not the plan but no confirmation yet either.”

Trackhouse is going to have to find a charter for both him and Zane Smith, or at least an alliance in the Cup Series similar to the one it has in the Xfinity Series now with Kaulig Racing, and even that could carry over into next season.

What does he need to do to be ready by next season?

“Another six months so it’s all about time,” Van Gisbergen said. “Every time I go out, I feel more comfortable and competitive and understanding how the racing works. We have some more ovals coming up in the Cup car towards the later half of this year so that will help me.”


“That was someone’s idea at Trackhouse. We all have our individual celebration now I guess. I was trying to think of something to do that is special to New Zealand, I guess, so that was cool. I was just happy that I didn’t butcher the kick. It went pretty well. …

“Hopefully it happens more.”


“I spun Sam Mayer in the first corner and it was completely my fault with the wheel hop and I thought, ‘oh shit, that’s a penalty’ and obviously it’s not here. Then I spent the whole race feeling bad about spinning him. He was the first guy I went to see after doing media after the race. Everyone was like, ‘just move on, it was lap one’ so my mentality is still different when it comes to hitting someone and carrying on with it. I still need to adjust to that.”

Was Mayer cool with it?

“Well, he definitely didn’t want to high five me but he wasn’t going to punch me. I guess he cooled off by then.”

Has he hit anyone intentionally beyond Austin Hill?

“That was the last time I done it. I don’t want to hit anyone intentionally unless they do it first. … If I did what I did to Sam in Australia, that would have been a drive through, straight to the back. And then the All Star Race, if I did what Ricky did, I would have been banned for over a year. It’s very different. I also don’t want to make anyone punch someone either.”


“I’m in quite a nice area in Mooresville. It’s pretty quiet. Having a routine is a great. I like most things here, apart from the airport. The airport sucks. That’s probably the worst thing about being here. It’s the lines. Bags take forever. I have never had a flight on time. We’re lucky having team flights but commercial airports are, well, interesting.”

To live in the Charlotte area is to hate its marquee airport.


“It’s okay. I’m starting to understand more. It’s when you’re trying to convert and go back and forth, that’s tough. Bruce, my crew chief, he tries to convert stuff. We pulled out a shim that’s 1.192 millimeters and I’m like, ‘you can round up, man, it’s good.’ It’s been funny to try to convert stuff.

“I finally converted my phone to miles and my car to miles per hour. I’ve taken the plunge. It’s difficult to understand. Nothing lines up here and meters makes sense. It’s okay though.”


“I love racing cars. It doesn’t feel like a job at all. It just feels like you’re having fun every weekend. It’s serious when it’s go time but racing every week is enjoyable. I love the routine. I love racing every week. That’s probably the biggest plus here, knowing what I’m doing every week and having fun doing it.”

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