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HomeNewsHow and when to watch van Gisbergen's NASCAR debut

How and when to watch van Gisbergen’s NASCAR debut

THE answer is straightforward as to how to watch Shane van Gisbergen’s highly anticipated NASCAR Cup Series debut on the Chicago Street Course.

For Australian-based fans, Fox Sports/Kayo Sports is the solution.

Those in van Gisbergen’s native New Zealand are set to miss out, barring any last-minute deal being struck between NASCAR and Sky Sport.

V8 Sleuth has verified there is definite interest from Sky Sport in broadcasting the Chicago race, but that the American-based series is more inclined to sign full-season deals.

When it’s on

The 100-lap, 220-mile street course race is scheduled to start at 5:30pm ET on Sunday July 2.

In AEST terms, that translates to 7:30am on Monday July 3.

UPDATE: NASCAR has moved the race start forward to 5:05pm ET/7:05am AEST.

Only the race is due to be broadcast in Australia (not practice or qualifying).

Pic: Shane van Gisbergen Twitter

Who SVG is up against

There’s obviously a stack of formidable NASCAR regulars in the field, such as Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and more.

Within van Gisbergen’s Trackhouse Racing stable is Ross Chastain, who won last weekend in Nashville, and Daniel Suarez.

Another international star joining the Chicago field is 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, who’ll make his second Cup Series start for Rick Ware Racing.

Button finished 18th on debut earlier this year at Circuit of The Americas.

One other driver of note to the Supercars paddock is Martin Truex Jr, whose crew chief is Australian James Small, a former employee of Garry Rogers Motorsport, Paul Morris Motorsport, Kelly Racing and Ford Performance Racing.

What to expect

In a word, chaos.

Trackhouse boss Justin Marks spoke with excitement about the inaugural chance to bring NASCAR to the streets of downtown Chicago and the unknowns that will come with such an event.

“As far as expectations, I don’t know,” said Marks, who’ll make a one-off appearance behind the wheel at the event in the second-tier Xfinity Series.

“Street racing requires more discipline and patience and race craft than any kind of racing in the world and with this group of guys, that has a tendency to waver a little bit late in the races… my hope is that we get to see a lot of green flag racing.

“I think that there’s a risk that a substantial portion of the race will be behind the Safety Car.

MORE: Van Gisbergen eager for NASCAR oval opportunity

“I hope that’s not the case because I think street racing can put on some of the best racing that anybody can see, especially late in the races when fuel has burned off and the tyres are sliding around and people are getting more courageous.

“I think it is really, really exciting. In talking to some of the other competitors, it’s all over the map as far as what people think we’re going to see, which I think is exciting.”

Van Gisbergen added: “It looks so different to what NASCAR has done before and when you watch the COTA race and how crazy that was, I was a bit eyes open, but I hope that it’s not like that at Chicago. It would be crazy.”

The 34-year-old tested at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course earlier today (Monday local time).

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