Shane van Gisbergen triumphs in epic first ever NASCAR Chicago Street Race

Christopher Bell led through the halfway mark but got taken over as van Gisbergen closed strong

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It was a debut 60 years in the making.

Lightning and heavy rain caused serious issues on the track, but that did not stop Shane van Gisbergen from making Cup Series history in Chicago.

Van Gisbergen won the highly anticipated NASCAR Chicago Street Race on Sunday despite turbulent weather conditions forcing several delays, capping off an incredible debut performance.

The 34-year-old, driving in a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will take home the biggest share of the $7,565,807 in prize money that will be allocated throughout the 37-driver field. He also earned a minimum of 40 points for the win as the playoff push for all drivers continue.

After 47 laps, NASCAR notified all teams the race was being shortened from 100 laps to 75. At that point, Christopher Bell led the way with Tyler Reddick and Ty Gibbs lurking in second and third place, respectively.

But Bell, who won Stages 1 and 2, eventually spun and fell out of the top spot, prompting Justin Haley to take over. Haley led all the way with six laps to go until van Gisbergen made a special move to overtake Haley for first place, and the New Zealander closed it out a few laps into overtime.

Haley finished in second, while Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five, in that order.

Bell ended up dropping to 18th while Reddick, who competed up top with Bell during a long portion of the early stages, plummeted even further to 28th after crashing into a tire barrier and getting stuck underneath.

Part of Triple Eight Race Engineering, an Australian motor racing team, van Gisbergen came into the race having won three Supercars championships in 2016, 2021 and 2022. Trackhouse Racing, though, was van Gisbergen's team for this Cup Series race.

The Auckland, New Zealand native has competed in 499 Supercars Championship races, logging 80 wins, 174 podiums, 46 pole positions and recently finished first in the 2022 campaign with 3,523 points.

While the rain eventually allowed the street race to be played out, the remainder of the Loop 121 Xfinity Series race in Chicago was not held however, as NASCAR opted to call the race from Saturday early and awarded the victory to Cole Custer.

Custer's 60 points edged John Nemechek's 53 in second place when lightning caused a delay on Saturday, and the race was postponed after just 24 laps.

The Grant Park 220 on Sunday had been scheduled to commence at 4:00 p.m. CT, but that had been pushed back to 5:15 as drivers got on the track to prepare. The race got underway at 5:30.

Next up in the Cup Series is the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on Sunday, July 9. The race will be held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia.

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