Floyd County’s Darian Grubb guided van Gisbergen to victory lane

‘I’ve been very fortunate and blessed in my career.’

ROANOKE, Va. – NASCAR took on a new challenge by embarking on street racing in downtown Chicago. The first-of-its-kind race opened the door for different drivers including New Zealand’s Shane van Gisbergen.

He became the first driver in 60 years to win in his NASCAR Cup Series debute. A big piece of the victory comes from right here in southwest Virginia. Floyd’s Darian Grubb served as van Gisbergen’s crew chief for Trackhouse Racing.

“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed in my career to work with some of the greats pull off some amazing wins,” Grubb said in an interview with 10 Sports on Monday. “Like, the Daytona 500 with Jimmie Johnson, the championship with Tony Stewart, the Darlington Southern 500 with Carl Edwards, Bristol Night Race with Denny Hamlin. This ranks up there with those top five type of vents. It’s something, it was the first street race, the first city race with Chicago and the way that was all pulled off and then having a one time race with Shane van Gisbergen coming in for his only race.”

“It’s overwhelming and so cool to see how interested people are in this race,” said van Gisbergen. “Hopefully shows how good our Supercars drivers are and opens the floodgates and we can come over here and race. There hasn’t been anyone from Supercars since Marcus really come and have a go, but there’s plenty of good drivers now wanting to come try and expand and come over here. Any of the top 10 in Supercars are good enough to come and do what I just did.”

Van Gisbergen races in Australia’s Supercars series and is a three-time champion there. He was racing as part of Trackhouse racing’s Project 91 program, which is a part time team set up to give international drivers a shot at racing NASCAR.

He drove from 18th place in the late pit stop to the checkers in the shortened race.

You can hear more from Grubb and his storied career on an upcoming episode of Around the Way with EJ.

About the Authors

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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