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SVG’s Developmental Deal with Trackhouse: What Does It Mean?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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Shane Van Gisbergen’s NASCAR future is becoming more clear it seems as Adam Stern reports that SVG will run with Trackhouse next season, but, not in the way you may think. According to Stern, SVG will run a “Wide-range developmental deal” in 2024.

People may wonder what exactly a developmental deal is, and, it could truly mean a myriad of different things. However, something like this has been done before in NASCAR to drivers in a similar position to SVG. How has it worked in the past, and what can we expect from the future?

Dario Franchitti and Juan Pablo Montoya

In 2008, NASCAR was in the midst of an “open-wheel invasion”. Juan Pablo Montoya had won a race in his rookie season, and drivers such as Jacques Villeneuve and Dario Franchitti. Franchitti was signed to a similar contract near the end of 2007 into 2008.

In 2007, Franchitti ran in six stock car races with four Xfinity Series starts, one Truck Series start, and one ARCA Menards Series start. Then, he began running in the Cup Series in 2008, but he had very little success. By 2009, he returned to IndyCar.

The aforementioned Juan Pablo Montoya entered into the final four Xfinity Series races in 2006 before making his Cup Series debut at Homestad-Miami, the season finale. That race ended in a literal fireball.

Montoya eventually went on to have a solid NASCAR career given his equipment, but, these examples show that these developmental deals are not necessarily unprecedented. Have they ever been as comprehensive as what we might see with SVG? They may not be, but they exist.

What Races Will SVG Run in Next Season?

Well, we can look at the relationships that Justin Marks and his drivers currently have with other race teams in the lower series. Obviously, SVG is running for Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park. If it’s not full-time Cup, Xfinity, or Trucks, SVG could run a few races with Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series.

In the Xfinity Series, it is a bit more tricky because Trackhouse does not currently have a car. It is reasonable that they could field their own car either there or even in the Truck Series. If not, Kaulig Racing is an option with the all-star car that both Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain have run in.

SVG could possibly be at the race track racing in a NASCAR series every weekend next season. Could he run full-time in the Xfinity or Truck Series to gain some valuable oval experience, or maybe just run on the ovals in those series?

He likely will run some oval races in Cup, and the Project 91 car does open up the possibility of running pretty much every Cup Series road course race. It will likely not be a full-time effort in Cup, but there is reason to believe he will run a few open races on ovals for Trackhouse just to gain some oval Cup experience.

This can really go multiple ways, but, Trackhouse has the connections to get SVG into a car or truck in multiple NASCAR races next season. As for how much Cup he will run, he will probably run some. However, SVG does have to learn how to race on oval tracks, and going straight to Cup may not be the best decision as he learns how to race on ovals.

Long story short, the expectation here is that SVG may likely split his time between Cup, Trucks, and Xfinity. If he runs full-time in any series, Xfinity or Trucks is probably where he will end up. That is generally how these developmental deals have played out in the past, but, this is a unique situation.

Where will SVG run next season? He will be at Trackhouse in some way, shape, or form, and he could be in multiple different cars throughout the season.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts