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What Can We Expect From SVG’s Oval Debut?

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Joshua Lipowski

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Shane Van Gisbergen is back in the United States. Not only is he back to race in the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Road Course, but he is also going to make his oval racing debut this weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He posted his truck for this weekend on Twitter.

What realistically can we expect from SVG this weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park? More importantly, what can he expect from this weekend? Lastly, could this mean something for SVG’s NASCAR future?

How will SVG Compete?

SVG will be running a Niece Motorsports truck this weekend. That means he will be driving in equipment that can win the race. Is he going to be the favorite?

Well, he has never run an oval race before. He especially has never run a short track race before. He is going to be in for a chaotic day.

Australian Supercars do tend to get very aggressive, as they are fendered stock cars just like NASCAR cars. SVG understands how to be aggressive, but will he be short track aggressive? That is the biggest question surrounding him.

He also is in an interesting team situation. Carson Hocevar is SVG’s teammate, and Hocevar is in the Craftsman Truck Series Playoffs. Yes, it’s Playoff time this weekend for the Truck Series. That means that SVG will need to be especially careful around Playoff drivers, particularly Hocevar.

Imagine a part-time driver ruining his teammate’s Playoff run? I doubt SVG will do anything like that, but he has to be aware of that going into this race.

Ultimately, a race where he runs all of the laps and finishes respectably inside of the top-10 would be a good day for him. To expect him to win this race would be too high of an expectation, but, winning is far from out of the question. Given the talent he has and the equipment he is in, SVG could easily factor into the win before that race is over.

What Could This Race Mean for SVG to Cup Next Year?

Niece Motorsports does have a Trackhouse Racing connection. Ross Chastain finished second in points racing for Niece in 2019, and he continues to race for Niece occasionally to this day.

It’s obvious that Trackhouse wants him given the fact that there were definitely some strings pulled on that end to allow Chastain and SVG to race in those races. It’s also clear that Justin Marks wants SVG as well.

It would take a lot for Marks to get SVG including likely buying a charter. However, moves like this continue to show that Marks will do whatever he has to to get SVG to NASCAR with his team.

Marks has shown that he will do whatever it takes before. He bought out Chip Ganassi in 2021 to get Ross Chastain to the team. Marks created Project 91 to get guys like SVG and Kimi Raikkonen to try out NASCAR.

He tends to try unique things, and he does not do things the same as other NASCAR owners. Who knows how much father he can go? A good performance by SVG this weekend at Indianapolis in both series could play a role in how and where SVG comes to NASCAR.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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