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The Pros and Cons of SVG’s Trackhouse Development Deal

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Trackhouse officially signed Shane Van Gisbergen to a developmental deal for the 2024 season. He will run select Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series races in 2024 aside from late model races as well. Why would Trackhouse go this route, and is it the right move for Trackhouse with SVG?

Benefits of This Deal

SVG is going to get a true crash course in NASCAR racing with this deal. He is going to race multiple different cars across multiple different series across multiple different race tracks. It gives him exactly what he needs to succeed in NASCAR, reps.

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In sports, they say that repetition is the mother of all skills, and SVG is going to get every opportunity at that next season. It also puts him in a relatively low-pressure environment. He will not be pressured to make a run at the Playoffs or anything like that. Instead, he can just focus on his own personal development.

It also gives him the ability to learn multiple different aspects of NASCAR racing. He will learn how to do some of the basic things like save tires, how aggressive they are on short tracks, and things like that.

He also will learn how to race against everyone across the NASCAR ecosystem. This will be important as the years go on and many of these drivers move their way up to the NASCAR Cup Series. He is going to learn everything at all levels of the stock car racing ladder.

Why Not Just Go Straight to Cup?

Since he won the first Cup Series race he ever entered at the Chicago Street Race, some may wonder why SVG will not make the jump straight into the Cup Series. Well, it is important to note the conditions that the Chicago Street Race was run in.

It was a wet to damp race track that Cup Series cars had never raced on. Most drivers in the field had never run a street race before, and even those who did had not run a street race in years. Racing in the rain is also something that is still relatively new to the Cup Series.

Both of these elements are things that SVG does regularly. Australian Supercars regularly race on street circuits, and they have raced in the rain for a long time as well. It was a perfect storm for SVG and he took advantage of it. Doesn’t make what he did any less impressive, but he took advantage of what he does best.

Not every Cup Series race is like that, and SVG still has to learn how to run races on the different types of tracks that only the Cup Series races on. He still has a lot to learn to be a successful Cup Series driver, so giving him the chance to develop is a good thing.

Potential Detractors

However, there are some things that could be detractors for SVG. First off, SVG will not have a chance to compete for a Championship in the series. Now, that could be a good thing because it puts him in a low-pressure environment, but he likely will not get Playoff experience in NASCAR.

The Playoffs are unlike any type of Championship that SVG has ever competed in. However, there could be a way SVG gets some sort of Playoff appearance through the owner’s points Playoffs. If he runs for someone in the Truck or Xfinity Series who wins a race, therefore making the owner’s Playoffs, SVG could get a Playoffs trial run except in the owner’s standings.

The other issue could be getting used to working with a specific race team. SVG may have to run with multiple crew chiefs, pit crews, road crews, etc. That could be a major challenge for him as he essentially drinks water from a fire hose while learning how to run a full schedule in NASCAR.

Now, Trackhouse could mitigate that by sending as many or all of the same crew with SVG to whatever race in whatever series. That could be very taxing on the crew, but, it could help get everyone to gel better together. It all depends on which races Trackhouse decides to let SVG run.

It will be interesting to see how the development deal runs out next season. It could go in multiple different directions, and it will give SVG the chance to learn how to run in NASCAR. Will it work?

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