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Where Will Shane van Gisbergen Go in 2024?

Shane van Gisbergen, the multi-time Supercars champion, seems to be on a collision course for a full-time ride in NASCAR.

It’s not a surprise that van Gisbergen would be so willing to move over, as he had already wanted to prior to his blowout NASCAR victory on the streets of Chicago. The Kiwi from New Zealand hasn’t reportedly been a fan of the new style of Supercar and was only going to stay with his current team until his contract was up.

Van Gisbergen confirmed the rumors this past week by saying outright that he would be going to NASCAR next year. The question now will be in what car.

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Now, it’s likely that van Gisbergen is deep in negotiations or has already made a deal with a team. Regardless, it would seem likely that SVG could announce his new team potentially as soon as next week with his return to NASCAR to coming then at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

I wanted to take a look at every single current NASCAR Cup Series team and what exactly their chances are, realistically, of signing van Gisbergen. SVG reportedly has multiple offers on the table as is, and while one seems very obvious, the rest are unknowns.

The only rule is that the team must currently have a charter. Let’s go down the list and start with the unlikely candidates.

Unlikely Candidates

23XI Racing: Team owner Denny Hamlin has dreams of building this team into a four-car behemoth. But right now, it just seems like just a matter of right driver at the wrong time.

Hendrick Motorsports: All four drivers are signed to long-term contracts, with none of them underperforming and thus liable to a buyout. No chance.

Legacy Motor Club: Would you sign for this team in the shape it is currently in?

Live Fast Motorsports: Doesn’t have the resources or the financial backing to justify a move from Supercars in the first place.

RFK Racing: Neither driver will likely leave, and Brad Keselowski is probably smart enough to know that expanding right now could erase the progress the team has made in the last two years.

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Rick Ware Racing: I can’t imagine anybody in SVG’s shoes would have interest in actually going to Ware. Justin Haley has spent half of the time since his announcement praising the team’s relationship with RFK, a team he isn’t driving for.

Team Penske: All three of their current drivers are pretty solidly in place. That’s not to say Penske isn’t in the race per se, just not under the Penske branding. …

Potential Candidates

Front Row Motorsports: It would seem strange to say even a couple of years ago, but it really seems like Front Row is a team with a lot of room to grow. Michael McDowell has shown plenty of speed and could be a very invaluable teammate to SVG, as a touring car driver who entered Cup with very little practical stock car experience himself.

Obviously, the biggest issue here is that Front Row has three drivers — McDowell, Zane Smith and Todd Gilliland — and two cars. Even if they lose one of them to silly season to a bigger Ford team, they still have two very solid options in their pockets.

Richard Childress Racing: One of SVG’s biggest fans in NASCAR has been Kyle Busch, who wasn’t surprised by anything that happened in Chicago, unlike many in the NASCAR garage.

Busch would probably be happy with the potential of van Gisbergen being a teammate of his, and no other Cup team has dabbled in Supercars quite like RCR has.

Although RCR probably does have the resources to start up a third car (Childress threatened to do so last year with Tyler Reddick), it would still probably require securing a hard-to-find charter. SVG also just doesn’t seem to fit the more traditional RCR mold, but then again, neither does Busch.

Spire Motorsports: Spire is suddenly a very interesting possibility with the team’s sudden landing of Gainbridge as a major sponsor.

But, at the same time, there’s been plenty of whispers and talk of Michael Andretti himself potentially buying into the team. Gainbridge does a lot for Andretti and is reportedly helping to fund his bid to be in Formula 1, which in of itself is a much larger scale project than entering NASCAR. If Andretti is entering NASCAR, he’ll likely do it with Gainbridge.

There are also rumors than Carson Hocevar could end up in the team’s No. 77 after an impressive outing at World Wide Technology Raceway earlier this season.

A van Gisbergen signing would be a very flashy move for this team. But there could be some questions the team has to answer internally before moving forward, right about the time when a decision needs to be made here in this situation.

Wood Brothers Racing: This is where Penske might jump in here. Obviously, driving for the Wood Brothers is not the exact same as being a Penske driver.

But the team has had a close relationship through a technical alliance with Penske for many years now. So it would not be surprising if Penske helped WBR make a move here, especially considering WBR’s colorful history with non-stock-car drivers such as A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney.

Most Likely Candidates

Joe Gibbs Racing: Honestly, this might be the best fit for SVG when it comes to a pure competition standpoint.

This is assuming, of course, that Martin Truex Jr. chooses to retire. If he does, this is a great deal for all involved. Gibbs gets a big signing that helps reel back a bit of the embarrassment of Busch’s departure last season.

Van Gisbergen gets to jump into championship-contending equipment and would get to work with James Small, whose background is Supercars and would be a huge help for SVG as he tries to figure out oval racing.

Really, the biggest con to this deal, besides Truex potentially not retiring, would be one that a lot of teams have that I haven’t mentioned yet. SVG has a very long-standing relationship with General Motors, first through its Holden brand and now its Chevrolet brand. That could play a key role in where van Gisbergen lands, and it’s one that Gibbs finds itself on the outside of.

Kaulig Racing: With Haley leaving this team, this open seat might be the easiest for van Gisbergen to jump into. It’s a chartered Chevrolet that has shown more speed than Spire, and he’d have a veteran teammate in A.J. Allmendinger who, like McDowell, jumped into Cup with very little practical stock car experience.

Obvious the only real hiccup is that the team reportedly does not have a lot of Chevrolet support, not getting a lot of time in the manufacturer simulator. But that could change with an SVG signing.

Stewart-Haas Racing: They have potentially another seat open and a leadership void with Kevin Harvick’s retirement. But the team has been a bit of a mess for years now, and SVG potentially replacing Aric Almirola would mean no SHR driver would have more than 200 Cup starts. That is not a good experience gap to have.

Trackhouse Racing: The most likely option, van Gisbergen’s win with the team was one of the biggest moments in years for NASCAR. Unlike every other team on this list, both driver and owner would be familiar with each other.

The question is if team owner Justin Marks can bring the resources and charter together in time to expand. And they would probably need a different crew chief, as I doubt Darian Grubb would want to be on the road again. But Marks has proven to be an outstanding owner who can get deals like this off the ground, again and again. This could be no different.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021. He moved on to Formula 1, IndyCar, and SRX coverage for the site, while still putting a toe in the water from time-to-time back into the NASCAR pool.

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TiminPayson

Hope he sticks with Chevrolet. Kaulig or Trackhouse would seem most likely.

DoninAjax

He’s too talented not to end up with Mr. H.

Mr Yeppers

Pop Childress might tell Austin play time is over and put SVG in the car with lots of Chevrolet support

gbvette

Childress is not the only owner to have “dabbled” in Australian Supercars. Penske became partners in a Supercar team about 10 years ago. Among his drivers were former NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose, and former Supercar champion and current Penske Indy Car Driver Scott McLaughlin. I have to think Penske probably knows more about Australian Supercars and drivers, then Childress or anyone else in NASCAR.

Whether any of that would contribute to Penske finding a seat for him at Penske, or his satellite team, the Woods Brothers, I don’t know? If nothing else, SVG would bring something to the team that Burton hasn’t, a winning history in Cup.

Bobby DK

Harrison B should be tossed.

Echo

I think your right. Perfect fit for the Wood brother. Now we wait and see if Roger is still in charge. The right driver at the right time, in the right place.

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