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NASCAR Cup Chicago Street Course

Van Gisbergen not buying into NASCAR biff and barge

Shane van Gisbergen doesn’t want to exploit the “no rules” nature of NASCAR racing in Chicago this weekend, despite a friendly warning from rival Corey LaJoie.

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The Kiwi is set to make his Cup Series debut on the streets of Chicago this weekend as part of TrackHouse Racing’s Project91 programme.

Given his immense experience and success on street circuits in Supercars he is a chance to be competitive, although the rough and tumble nature of NASCAR will be an unknown.

Supercars is tightly policed on driving standards which means drivers can’t wreck competitors without being penalised.

Van Gisbergen appeared on LaJoie’s podcast earlier this week, where he was given a friendly warning about how rivals could use the fact that this is a one-off drive to their own advantage.

He also conceded that van Gisbergen could use a similar approach, given he won’t need to face up to anyone the week after Chicago.

"I’ll give you a tip — you can use this to your advantage, or also to your disadvantage," said LaJoie. “They don’t have to race you next week — they will use you up much more before they use me up.

“If somebody uses me up, I’m gonna get their ass the following week. You’re on a plane Monday. You could use somebody else’s ass up, and you don't have to see him next week.”

Van Gisbergen, however, is still uncomfortable with that approach, telling Australian media on Friday morning that he plans to stick to a respectful approach to racing.

"I had the podcast that NASCAR does with Corey LaJoie, and he was like, ’well there’s two ways to look at it – when I race you I don’t have to see you next week because you’re leaving, and you don’t have to see me next week so you can do what you want’," he said.

"It’s a funny way they think here, it’s very different. But I fully intend to race like I do in Australia.

"Just because there are no rules here doesn’t mean I'm going to go crazy, taking people out. Everyone here is racing for a good result, racing for their points championship or a spot in The Chase, if I’m lucky enough to be racing up front.

"I plan to be respectful and hopefully be someone that they look on as good to race, so I don't get beat up later on.

"It will be fun to see how it is. When I read or listen to everything Jordan Taylor or Jenson Button said after the COTA race, they just got beaten up and picked on. Hopefully it’s not like that here because there are so many walls, but you’ve got to stand your ground too at some point, I guess."

Van Gisbergen sampled his Trackhouse Camaro at the Charlotte Roval on Monday and has been completing simulator work since to prepare for Chicago. 

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