Saturday, July 20, 2024

Cameron Waters would “love to have a crack” in NASCAR

Add Cameron Waters to the growing list of Supercars Championship drivers interested in a NASCAR start. After attending the recently concluded Martinsville Speedway slate, he told that he would be open to trying it out himself.

“I’ve followed it for a long time but never had the chance to get over and see it in person,” said Waters. “I like racing different cars and series, so 100 percent I’d love to have a crack in one.

“NASCAR race weekends are a lot different to Supercars in some ways and similar in others. They race hard but fairly, and the formats of how their weekend is set up is very different.”

Waters sits fifth in the Supercars standings after six races, winning the season opener at Newcastle. The Tickford Racing driver was the 2022 championship runner-up with three victories, placing behind Shane van Gisbergen. His interest in American motorsport also extends to dirt track racing as he races sprint cars in Australia during his downtime.

Van Gisbergen, a three-time champion, said last September that he had talked with NASCAR Cup Series owner Justin Marks about potentially racing in the Cup Series in 2023. Marks’ Trackhouse Racing Team operates the PROJECT91 programme for international racing stars hoping to race in NASCAR, with Kimi Räikkönen making a pair of starts in the #91 Chevrolet.

Current Supercars points leader Brodie Kostecki has also expressed his desire to enter the Cup Series. Unlike Waters and van Gisbergen, it would be a return trip of sorts for Kostecki as he competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now ARCA Menards Series West) in 2013 and 2014.

With Waters having signed a multi-year contract with Tickford, he would need to find an gap in the Supercars calendar if he wishes to race in NASCAR. All but one of the remaining Cup Series road course races on the 2023 schedule take place on Supercars off-weekends, with the exception being the Charlotte Roval event that clashes with the Bathurst 1000. Van Gisbergen had particularly singled out the Chicago Street Race on 2 July as a track he would like to run.

Although van Gisbergen and Kostecki could be viable candidates for PROJECT91 as they race also Chevrolets in the Supercars, Waters would likely have to find a Ford team. One such candidate could be Rick Ware Racing, who is fielding a ride for ex-Formula One World Champion Jenson Button in three Cup races; RWR also has Riley Herbst, a fellow Monster Energy-sponsored driver, on a part-time slate.

The Cup Series’ Next Gen car has been credited with sparking overseas fascination due to its compatibility with road racing and similarities to the Supercars. This has allowed road courses to take more prominence on schedules, with six in total for 2032.