Thoughts on Three New Zealand airing NASCAR races live for free online this season with Shane Van Gisbergen set to begin his first full season in the US soon

by Sports Benches

Image Reference: Zach Catanzareti via Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0

You wouldn’t believe it by surprise as New Zealand will get live NASCAR coverage this season & it’s free to view too without a subscription where ThreeNow will stream every race of both Cup & Xfinity Series while continuing to one-hour highlights on Sundays through their CRC Motorsports show on the main Three TV channel. It’s brilliant timing ahead of Shane Van Gisbergen’s first full season racing NASCARs in the US starting soon, although the new racing season will return on Monday morning beginning with the non-points Busch Clash race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

As said, it’s exciting times for NZ’s own SVG who will compete full-time in the Xfinity Series including a few part-time Cup races with Kaulig Racing under loan development for the year from Team Trackhouse. Yes, he will have to race the ARCA main series opener at Daytona on his first racing weekend out of 2024, but that’s only for him to pass the superspeedway requirements by NASCAR before he’s allowed to raced there. He has never done it before other than road courses where he made his name in Supercars while he won at Chicago on his Cup debut + raced on a short oval with Niece Motorpsorts in Trucks last year. He won’t be lost at Trackhouse after all despite the late change due to AJ Allmendinger’s return to the Xfinity Series also to Kaulig as his new team-mate. They are preparing him well at the right place ahead of racing Cup level full-time in 2025 & beyond either in their potential third car or possibly replacing Daniel Suarez in the No.99 Chevy Camaro.

So what does that mean for Australia? It will still be on Fox Sports/Kayo every week Live for all Cup and Xfinity races where you would need to pay at $25 a month to watch these races behind a paywall. Yes, it didn’t cost that much for Three to stump up the money in order to show races live legally now in NZ. Speaking of Three, they are owned by Warner Bros Discovery whose parent cable channel TNT will return to the sport next year under the next Domestic TV rights contract (five late summer races live alongside Max as a sports streaming add-on with all 2nd half practice & qualifying events via TruTV).

But despite the Three NASCAR deal in NZ, don’t see NASCAR coming back on free-to-air in Australia anytime soon even it’s only one-hour highlights like IndyCar. Anyone can watch YouTube at anytime for a few mins highlights from the race without having to sit few hours each time & there’s always full race replays during the mid-week too that is all for free worldwide.

We don’t even know what is happening with Brodie Kostecki right now after he shockingly decided to leave Erebus Motorsport in Supercars this week not long before the new season starts soon despite winning the championship. I hope he can come back sometime this season & race part-time at Cup level again with Richard Childress Racing. There’s still always hope to see an Australian racing in NASCAR though every week alongside SVG whether it’s with or without Kostecki. Plus, you got Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters potentially racing a few road course races there later this year for RFK Racing’s 3rd part-time vehicle in a Ford Mustang & he’s so passionate about this sport, having visited 1-2 races at Martinsville I (April) & Daytona II (August) last year.

For now, NZ Motorsport fans can enjoy watching NASCAR races live for free every Sunday & Monday thanks to ThreeNow. But for us Australians, don’t hold your breath when most top-level motorsports content is behind a paywall – even with an Aussie and SVG in there when most people are at work during the day except when you can Xfinity Series races on most Sundays.

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