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Is Shane van Gisbergen New King of the Road?

Nascar Xfinity Series Shane van Gisbergen celebrates in victory lane NKP

When Shane van Gisbergen comes to the Chicago street course (or any road course), he’s a favorite to win.

But what is impressive is seeing him drive through the field and win in the final laps.

That’s precisely what van Gisbergen did in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ The Loop 110 on Saturday (July 6). After battling with Kyle Larson for much of stages one and two, both drivers pitted after a caution for AJ Allmendinger (who was running in third at the time). Thanks to the alternate strategy, SVG and Larson had to restart behind most of the others who pitted during prior cautions.

After a few more yellow flags, both drivers reached the top 10. It wasn’t until the final two cautions with about 10 laps to go that van Gisbergen battled in the top five. On the last caution, SVG made the necessary passes on Ty Gibbs and Jesse Love to take the lead and earn his third-straight road and/or street course win.

Gibbs came home second, Larson snagged third, Parker Kligerman took fourth and Love rounded out the top five.


Shane van Gisbergen became the first Xfinity driver to win three races, all on his specialty: road and street courses. But like last year’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Chicago, van Gisbergen had to pass several cars in the late laps to get there.

It’s a testament to his talent, as he had to execute each turn and pass carefully and with precision. Kligerman, Larson, Allmendinger, and Gibbs are all good on road courses, and holding them off while making passes in several turns requires confidence and stellar driving, which SVG is showcasing.

And boy, was it a fun battle between him and Larson, especially in stage one. Both cars passed each other for the lead several times in the first 15 laps, with van Gisbergen emerging as the stage one winner.

While there’s only one road course in the playoffs, you have to think that if SVG can grab enough stage wins throughout the remaining races, he might just make it to the Round of 8.

As I mentioned, Larson also worked through the cars to get into the top five once again, though he couldn’t get around them as fast as SVG. The race was only 50 laps on the 2.2-mile course, which didnʻt give drivers much time to make passes.

But besides advancing through the field, Larson’s duel with SVG showed just how good of a racer he is. After the race, van Gisbergen said he learned some things from Larson, and Larson probably learned from him. For a driver…

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