Shane Van Gisbergen makes NASCAR history leading laps in Coca-Cola 600

NASCAR Xfinity Series BetRivers 200
NASCAR Xfinity Series BetRivers 200

Three-time Supercar champion Shane Van Gisbergen made history in last Sunday's rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 35-year-old led two of the 249 laps that the event ran before the weather intervened and the officials declared Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell as the winner.

This meant that Gisbergen took the lead in four out of his first five NASCAR Cup Series starts, making him the only driver to do so. In his previous four Cup starts at Chicago, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, COTA, and Talladega, the former Australian Supercar icon led nine, one, zero, and three laps respectively.

Shane Van Gisbergen secured a victory in his official NASCAR debut last year in the inaugural Grand Park 220 at the Chicago Street Course. He is a three-time Bathurst winner and now drives the number 97 Kaulig Racing entry in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Gisbergen is also on a select race schedule in the NASCAR Cup Series for Matt Kaulig's team.

Renowned journalist and editor, Joseph Srigley, recently posted on X talking about the same,

"With his two laps led in Sunday's #CocaCola600, @ShaneVG97 becomes the FIRST-EVER DRIVER to lead in four of their first five NASCAR Cup Series starts."
"Chicago: 9 Indy RC: 1 COTA: 0 Talladega: 3 Charlotte: 2"

Shane Van Gisbergen started 36th and stayed close to that spot throughout the first stage of the race. He was able to clinch the lead after the restart, following the first caution on lap 87 but by lap 100, he fell back to P31.

Gisbergen suffered a penalty during the second stage for passing too many pit boxes, which pushed him to the back of the field for the next restart. The New Zealander finished 28th in his first-ever Coca-Cola 600.

NASCAR Hall of Fame honors Shane Van Gisbergen

Shane Van Gisbergen's victory in Chicago last year was commemorated by the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year in April. His violet and white Enhance Health racing suit, boots, and helmet from the Street Course race have been put up as exhibits in the NASCAR Hall of Fame gallery.

It's a privilege, that's for sure," Gisbergen said, as reported by "It's pretty cool to have our own little momento for it, and it's cool to be in a place like this."
"You obviously dream of winning a race, but we were not sure how we were going to go. It’s such a different world to what I’m used to and where I’ve come, so to have a great race and to win the race was pretty unexpected, but a pretty awesome moment," he added.

The New Zealander won the race in Chicago and thus became the first driver in 60 years to bag his maiden career win in his career's first-ever Cup Series race. According to Forbes, Gisbergen will run this year's Street Course race in Chicago on July 7. After that, he will run two more races at Watkins Glen International on September 15 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 20.

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