Motorsport news | Stewart-Haas Racing to shut down, what it means for Shane van Gisbergen and Trackhouse Racing


The demise of NASCAR title winners Stewart-Haas Racing could have implications for Cup Series part-timer Shane van Gisbergen.

On Wednesday, the team confirmed it would shutter at the end of the 2024 season. With that comes the expected sale of the licences needed to compete in the Cup Series.

Already a handful of favourites have emerged with Trackhouse Racing, the team van Gisbergen is contracted to, a candidate for at least one charter.

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The charters, worth upwards of $45 million, guarantee a place on the NASCAR Cup Series grid and pay prize money.

Shane van Gisbergen, driver of the No.16 Chevrolet Camaro, during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Shane van Gisbergen, driver of the No.16 Chevrolet Camaro, during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. David Jensen via Getty Images

Van Gisbergen is in his first year of the second-tier Xfinity Series with Kaulig Racing as a development driver.

Even if Trackhouse does acquire an additional licence there will likely be competition for the vacant seat.

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The team currently runs Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez full-time with contracted driver Zane Smith currently competing in the Cup Series by way of Spire Motorsports.

Chastain and Smith have deals through to 2025 while Suarez is currently off-contract. Suarez is said to be on the brink of re-signing with Trackhouse.

NASCAR driver Shane van Gisbergen races full-time in the Xfinity Series and part-time in the Cup Series.

NASCAR driver Shane van Gisbergen races full-time in the Xfinity Series and part-time in the Cup Series. James Gilbert via Getty Images

Whether van Gisbergen graduates to the Cup Series in 2025 remains to be seen.

The announcement of Smiths signing came with a line in the press release announcing that Trackhouse plans to field three cars in the top category. 

Although not explicitly mentioned, it could be inferred that Trackhouse plans to prioritise Smith over van Gisbergen.

While the closure of Stewart-Haas Racing could ultimately benefit van Gisbergen, the news of the teams closure has rocked the NASCAR fraternity.

Kevin Harvick won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Kevin Harvick won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. Getty

Formed in 2002, the team has won the Cup Series twice with Tony Stewart (2011) and Kevin Harvick (2014).

Harvick, who retired at the end of last season, said the timeline of the teams downfall was remarkable after a series of tributes to the NASCAR legend and the signing of Josh Berry as his successor to mark a new era.

Its unbelievable to me that we went from 4EVER to 4WARD to for sale in six months, he said.

I dont even know how you could possibly imagine sitting here today and thinking six months later that Stewart Haas Racing is going to announce that theyre basically folding.

Really, when I went there in 2014 it was a brand new team. We had a lot of enthusiasm from the ownership group to build this team up into what turned out to be a championship-winning team.

Won a lot of races, but I had a great group of people and I think the people around that No.4 car over the last 10 years were really what held that company together. That company was held together by the success of the #4 car.

Its tough to see, he added.

Theres a lot of people who put a lot of time and effort into that organisation and the organisation did a lot for me personally. 

I truly believe that while we were exiting and looking back on it and saying What would you do to Stewart Haas Racing? I think it wouldnt have been a hard fix because you have a lot of people. 

Its just structure, organisation and management that could have pushed it forward to make it right.

The NASCAR Cup Series continues on June 3 at Gateway. Van Gisbergen will race in the Xfinity Series on June 2 at Portland.



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