Van Gisbergen has now confirmed that he is seeking to race in NASCAR next year, although he has misgivings about potentially leaving in the lurch the team which fielded him for two Bathurst 1000 wins and three drivers' championship titles.
Whincup, now into his second year as Team Principal at Banyo, has not ruled out a return to full-time Supercars driving if need be.
Dutton, who was Whincup's Race Engineer for five of his seven drivers' championship titles, described his boss as an “awesome fallback.”
However, he cautioned that, at the very least, there is a risk of tainting the reputation of the ‘GOAT', or ‘greatest of all time'.
“It's an awesome fallback,” said Dutton.
“It's just like having the wildcard [chassis] this weekend to be able to give to Shane; we're in a fantastic position to have that as a back-up plan.
“Is that our initial plan? No, it's not.
“You know, it's one of those things. We've got to be careful and I reminded Jamie when we've chatted about some of these things.
“He finished as the GOAT; if you come back and you aren't strong, that puts a bit of a downer on your career, sort of thing.
“So, it's definitely not our first option, but it's a bloody good one, and you know he'll work super hard if it happens.”
Van Gisbergen's enduro co-driver, Richie Stanaway, is open to the prospect of filling the breach if his compatriot does jet off to the United States at the end of 2023.
Cameron Waters was thought of as a target of Triple Eight's in the event that a vacancy arose in the #97 Red Bull Ampol entry but is understood to now be locked in by Tickford Racing for at least the 2024 season.
With the top four non-Triple Eight drivers in the championship – Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown, Andre Heimgartner, and Chaz Mostert – all known or thought to be in a similar position at their respective teams, it leaves somewhat slim pickings for such a big seat.