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HomeNewsVan Gisbergen explains Hill payback

Van Gisbergen explains Hill payback

SHANE van Gisbergen believes his forceful race-winning move on Austin Hill was fair game after the pair’s run-in earlier this year in Texas.

SVG secured his second successive NASCAR Xfinity Series win yesterday at Sonoma Raceway after passing Hill at the final restart, contact shuffling the latter a few spots back.

Hill more or less declined to comment post-race, but van Gisbergen was defiant, given how a similar situation had unfolded at Circuit of The Americas but with the roles reversed.

“100 percent,” said the Kiwi, before elaborating.

“To me, we’ve both taken a race win off each other now.

“I don’t know, I didn’t go into the corner planning to take him out, like I wasn’t going to hit him off the track, but I was going to try to pass him and I did everything I could.

“When he kept choosing the left on restarts, I was like ‘oh that’s surprising’ because I chose the left on the first restart and it was a mistake and if I had the opportunity again, I would have chosen the right every time.

“As soon as he chose the left I knew, ‘okay this is a good opportunity to hang around the outside and force my way into the inside at Turn 2’.

“Like I didn’t take him out properly, I just made a hole and got through.”

The #97 Kaulig Racing driver also explained his newfound victory celebration of booting a rugby ball into the crowd.

“They said at the start of the year, I have got to come up with something for a win,” he said.

“Daniel (Suarez) has got the piñata and Ross (Chastain) smashes the watermelon… I had to come up with something.

“I grew up with rugby (union), I love the sport, love the All Blacks, always support my country, so to have a rugby ball with New Zealand on it, that means a lot to me.

“I don’t know how often I’m going to be able to kick them into the crowd but hopefully we need to keep getting some rugby balls. It’s pretty cool.”

With his place in the Xfinity playoffs cemented, van Gisbergen returns to the oval scene next weekend at Iowa Speedway.

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