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Trackhouse Racing owner 'humbled' by NASCAR playoff showing

Trackhouse Racing is only on its 100th start in the NASCAR Cup Series but it is already in a strong position to win its first championship.

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, Jockey Chevrolet Camaro, Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro

Trackhouse, started in 2021 by co-owners Justin Marks and Grammy Award-winner rapper Pitbull, only became a two-car operation this season but with one race remaining in the second round of the 2022 series playoffs, it is positioned well to advance.

The final race of the second round is Sunday at the Charlotte Roval and both of Trackhouse’s drivers – Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez – are above the cutline in points.

After Sunday, the four lowest drivers in points without a win (in this round) will be eliminated from further playoff competition.

In addition, the Roval should be a good track for the organization as both drivers earned their career-first Cup Series victories this season on road courses – Chastain at Circuit of the Americas and Suarez at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, Onx Homes / Renu Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his win

Daniel Suarez, TrackHouse Racing, Onx Homes / Renu Chevrolet Camaro celebrates his win

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

“I’m humbled to be where we’re at right now but I also think it goes back to the fact that we have a race car where there’s a lot of parity. The way the groups (of people in the shop) are working together is very effective,” Marks said Wednesday.

“I am a huge believer this (Next Gen) car is going to be successful by cultivating a great – I sound super reductant because I say it all the time – is building a great culture where people are really excited about coming to work here.

The work that we do on these race cars, now that where in such a tight window and you can’t engineer a piece of equipment that is superior to another team’s piece of equipment, it’s the pride that you take in the work that you do in assembling that piece of equipment. That is what has given us the opportunity to do what we’re doing.”

A careful approach

Together, Chastain and Suarez have three wins between them this season.

Chastain is in a better position in points – he’s currently third, 28 points above the cutline. He can clinch a spot in the semifinal round by finishing ninth or better in the race regardless of anyone else’s performance.

“We’ll just have to be mindful of who’s around our No. 1 Chevy,” Chastain said. “We need to know at all times what’s going on.

“We’ll be aware of the points and not put ourselves in the position to fall out of the race. Aside from that, we’ll just go and try to make fast laps.”

Suarez is seventh in the playoff standings, 12 points to the good. A finish in the top-eight would guarantee Suarez’s move to the next round.

“Heading to the Roval, I feel very confident we can contend for (the win),” he said. “We have a very good road course program at Trackhouse Racing. Both Ross and I have won races and been strong in each race.

“It’s a great feeling as a driver to know you have a strong chance to win every time you race.”

Racing with your heroes

Marks said at times during Trackhouse’s early journey, it’s been difficult to fully appreciate all the young organization has already accomplished.

“I grew up watching Hendrick Motorsports and Penske Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. The first racing book I ever read was ‘The Unfair Advantage’ by Mark Donohue about Roger Penske getting his start. I got my picture made with Joe Gibbs in the 1996 Daytona 500,” Marks said.

“These guys were my heroes and they represent what the true top of the sport is – a sport that I’m so passionate about. Just to have an opportunity to walk through the garage as colleagues is incredibly humbling.

“Then for us to be in the playoffs and in position to compete against them this deep is just humbling and a testament to how talented everyone is in this building and how hard they are working.”

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