XFINITY Series Chicago Street Race

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Pit Stops

The Loop 110

Saturday, July 6th, 2024

Chicago Street Race, Chicago, IL

  • 29 Chevrolet
  • 8 Ford
  • 6 Toyota

  • Thursday, July 4th, 2024
  • NASCAR Wire Service - Reid Spencer
Shane van Gisbergen goes for third straight NASCAR Xfinity road course win

Last year, New Zealand’s Shane van Gisbergen won the NASCAR Cup Series’ Chicago Street Race in his NASCAR debut.

This year, the three-time Australian Supercars champion will try to add a NASCAR Xfinity Series victory to his resume in The Loop 110 on the 2.14-mile, 12-turn course on the streets of the Windy City (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

“I’m looking forward to racing the Xfinity car on this Chicago Street Course,” said van Gisbergen, who is competing full-time in the series for Kaulig Racing. “Obviously, I have already raced the Cup car here, but these cars (Xfinity and Cup) are not comparable.

“So, it’s going to be another massive challenge for me but (crew chief) Bruce (Schlicker) and my 97 Kaulig Racing team always bring fast cars to the track. Happy to have (sponsor) WeatherTech on board with us this weekend in their home city and hopefully park it in Victory Lane.”

Van Gisbergen is seeking his third straight Xfinity victory on courses with both right and left turns, having won back-to-back races at Portland (June 1) and Sonoma (June 8). With the two triumphs, van Gisbergen is guaranteed a spot in the Xfinity Playoffs in his rookie season.

Van Gisbergen will have plenty of competition in Saturday’s race. Defending series champion Cole Custer also is the defending race winner, having led all 25 laps in last year’s inaugural race, which was shortened because of drenching rain.

The Xfinity event also features a handful of excellent road course racers doing double duty, among them Xfinity regular AJ Allmendinger and full-time NASCAR Cup drivers Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, John Hunter Nemechek, Joey Logano and Daniel Suarez.

  • Saturday, July 6th, 2024
  • NASCAR Wire Service - Holly Cain
Surprise no more, Shane van Gisbergen captures battle-tested NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicago victory

Shane van Gisbergen put on a master class Saturday afternoon, winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ The Loop 110 at the Chicago Street Race. The New Zealander led early and, again, led late to claim his third consecutive series road course win and second race win on the 2.2-mile downtown Chicago streets.

Fans who experienced monsoon-like rains at last year’s inaugural NASCAR visit to the Windy City could not have asked for a more ideal summer afternoon on Saturday. People in the packed grandstands – nearly half taking in their first NASCAR event according to Chicago Street Race President Julie Guise – enjoyed blue skies, a comfortable breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s.

And they enjoyed a highly competitive spirited race, with van Gisbergen and Californian Kyle Larson dicing it up, door-to-door, front-fender to back bumper from the drop of the green flag and then van Gisbergen charging through the field to claim the lead again in the final laps.

In the end, the 35-year old van Gisbergen got his No. 97 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet around Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs with two laps remaining and charged off to his series best third win of the year by a healthy 1.287 seconds over Gibbs and Larson.

“That’s awesome, what a great race,’’ said a grinning van Gisbergen after kicking a rugby ball into the cheering crowd as is his established NASCAR victory celebration.

“It was pretty wild there at the end, but I can’t thank the Kaulig Racing guys enough. It was great racing to start with Kyle [Larson]. He was really good on the restarts and we made our car better with the second set of tires, but whooo, that was fun at the end passing all those guys. Had some great racing with everyone.’’

Van Gisbergen who also claimed road course wins at Portland and Sonoma, Calif. led 14 laps as did Richard Childress Racing’s Jesse Love – most on the afternoon. Big Machine Racing’s Parker Kligerman finished fourth; his best result of the season and Love was fifth.

The two champion drivers – Larson and van Gisbergen – set the tone immediately, exchanging the lead sometimes three and four times in a single lap from the drop of the green flag. Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, led the first six laps and van Gisbergen, a three-time Australian Supercars Series champion who won last year’s inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race in Chicago, led the next nine laps to claim the Stage 1 win in the process.

“It was cool we were waving at each other, thumbs up,’’ Van Gisbergen said of racing Larson early. “Really respectful but big moves. He was amazing on the brakes and on the bumps. Really cool. I learned a lot and he probably learned a lot off me. Hope to race him again for the win tomorrow.’’

Larson, who will start from pole position in Sunday’s Grant Park 165 NASCAR Cup Series race, had been looking forward to the chance to race up front with van Gisbergen.

“I was having a blast,’’ Larson said. “Obviously I wanted to win today but I wanted to learn more than anything. I wanted to get to battle with him because he’s just really good at creating shapes and angles and passing. That was an objective of mine and the first opportunity I got, I wanted to get racing because I just didn’t know if I’d have another opportunity to race with him.

“My car seemed to be a little better than his for a lap or two which helped me get by him and was able to protect and stuff but he was so much better than me.’’

Varying pit stop strategies adjusted the field mid-race. Many – such as Love – pitted during the first stage break at Lap 15. Van Gisbergen, Gibbs and Larson pit during a caution period later on lap 24. That shuffled the field putting those three early frontrunners playing catch-up in the closing laps.

With six laps to go and van Gisbergen making his way forward, his Chevy was hit from behind by Sam Mayer’s Chevy in the Turn 12 corner forcing van Gisbergen’s Chevrolet to scrape the wall. He fell off the bumper of then race leaders, Gibbs and Love but stayed in the third position.

He got around the two with three laps remaining. And Gibbs said looking back, he probably should have raced van Gisbergen a little more aggressively in the final laps

“We had a bad pit stop and I feel like I used my stuff up a lot to get back through the field,’’ said Gibbs, whose team had a problem on the tire change. “I’d say it would have been close in the end though.’’

Connor Mosack, Austin Hill, NASCAR Cup Series regular Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier and Austin Green rounded out the top 10. It was the first Xfinity Series start for Logano since 2019. It was the third top 10 in four career series starts for the 23-year old Green – all coming on road courses.

Last year’s Chicago race winner, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer, finished 18th despite dealing with various issues throughout the afternoon – including a pit stop penalty. He now holds a 38-point lead over JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier in the standings. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Chandler Smith dropped to third place in the championship after finishing last – 38th – with an engine problem suffered only five laps into the race.

Van Gisbergen’s effort now gives him a series best 17 Playoff points and his three wins are most in the series this year.

  • Drivers Entered: 43 (5 drivers will not make the race)
  • Laps Scheduled: 50
  • Margin of Victory: 01.287 Seconds
  • Time of Race: 1 Hours 56 Minutes 45 Seconds
  • Average Speed: 56.531
  • Cautions: 7 for 16 laps
  • Lead Changes: 9
  • Green Flag Passes: 728 (21.4 passes per green flag lap)
Cole Custer celebrates in victory lane
Avondale, Arizona - November 4, 2023 : Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway.
Jared C TiltonGetty Images