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How Supercars inspired Next Gen NASCAR

NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell has opened up on how the Repco Supercars Championship proved an inspiration to its own Next Gen car.

NASCAR/Supercars crossover is the rage at the moment following Shane van Gisbergen’s stunning win in his Cup Series debut in Chicago.

He’s sure to return at some stage, and Supercars rivals such as Brodie Kostecki and Cam Waters are lining up to follow him to making cameo appearances in the States.

Kostecki and his Erebus Motorsport colleagues in fact have forged an alliance with Richard Childress Racing, and joined RCR for a day with a Holden Supercar out at Virginia International Raceway last month.

“A lot of folks don’t know that one of the kind of genesis points for our Next Gen car was the Australian V8 series,” said O’Donnell, who attended the 2018 Supercars round at The Bend.

“We were encouraged to go over, visit, we spent a lot of time with the race teams who were incredibly generous.

“If you have not seen the racing there, it’s fantastic, and you couldn’t be more welcomed when you go over and watch it.

“We’ve had a close relationship throughout in terms of dialogue, competition.”

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Furthermore, with global interest in NASCAR at a high – also on the back of the Garage 56 project at Le Mans – O’Donnell said he “would never rule out the potential for an event” in Australasia.

“I think we’re all confident at NASCAR that we could take the Cup Series anywhere we want, and we do that with the industry, and I think – I don’t think, I know – the race we put on today would sell and would be embraced globally for sure,” he added.

Van Gisbergen is the first driver in 60 years to taste victory in his maiden Cup Series race, the last being Johnny Rutherford at Daytona in 1963.

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