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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Column: Nashville Trackhouse as NASCAR’s Hottest Team

CHARLOTT, NC ( Associated Press) — Justin Marks sat annoyed on the Nashville Superspeedway podium just a year ago. Two days earlier, he claimed to have been stunned to learn that he was once again banned from selling two NASCAR charters.

He sat next to Trackhouse Racing partner Pitbull, who has ever competed on the upcoming I Don’t Know About You, But Feel Good Tour. The Grammy winner really felt good: Nashville was buzzing with NASCAR’s long-awaited comeback and people were partying all over the city – proof to Pitbull that he’s in a post-pandemic renaissance.

These charter deals with the NASCAR team? Don’t worry about Pitbull. He lets Marx run the business, while Pitbull helps raise the energy around the new fashion team.

Well, Marx understood that. A year later, wow, Trackhouse is doing well.

The sophomore team returns to their pseudo home after Daniel Suarez’s first career win. Only the fifth Cup winner born outside the United States, the Mexican sent Trackhouse to the only day off on NASCAR’s 38-race schedule, with Suarez and Ross Chastain already qualified for the playoffs.

You see, when Marks lost those charters last June – Spire Motorsports sold them to someone else – he got tired of playing the game. and made the purchase of his life. Last July, he bought all of Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR operations. and received not one but two charters and an organization with twenty years of experience.

Trackhouse went from startup to bona fide challenger overnight.

The team’s emergence focused on two underdog drivers who made their way to NASCAR’s top streak and then spent years looking for a team that believed they could win races.

At the end of the 2020 season, Marks selected Suárez, who was on his third team in three years.

“In 2020, I knew I hit rock bottom. It couldn’t get any worse in my opinion,” Suarez said of his season with the underfunded Gaunt Brothers Racing team. “It was terrible on the race track, but it made me who I am now, made me stronger. I knew it couldn’t get any worse. After that, Trackhouse came up to the table.”

Marks saw the potential and built the Trackhouse around Suarez and Travis Mack, a crew chief who noted last week that he was fired during a NASCAR weekend four years ago. Now he rested like the first winner.

So much has changed for one team in one calendar year and Suarez is expected to announce a contract extension ahead of Sunday’s race.

Marks still hopes to be a Nashville hometown NASCAR team; his original plan was for the Trackhouse to operate in a downtown tourist location. by 2023. The turnkey acquisition of Ganassi changed the plan.

“It was a strategy where we just bought a charter and then buying a charter turned into an acquisition of Chip Ganassi Racing that went from starting a company in Nashville to uprooting the company and moving it to Nashville, which was no longer viable. Marx said.

Location doesn’t matter much to what Marks and Pitbull are trying to build. Sunday’s Trackhouse Races with Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge once again sponsor Suarez’s No. 99 Chevrolet in a close partnership between the famed Nashville establishment and an up-and-coming sports and entertainment organization.

Meanwhile, Jockey’s will debut Chastain’s car in the first of six races as Trackhouse continues to add marketing partners to its portfolio and seek creative opportunities to showcase its team. Trackhouse will host an hour of live pit stops Thursday ahead of Tootsie.

“Trackhouse is more than a racing team,” Marks explained. “This is a brand that we are trying to inspire, we are trying to activate the intersection point between entertainment and motorsport. A permanent presence in Nashville continues to be part of the business development strategy. We need to figure out what it looks like with the scaling of our goals as a racing team.

“Nashville is very important to us. I think we have some momentum to create something special.”


More Associated Press auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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