Daniel Suarez joins new Trackhouse Racing team in Cup for 2021

Daniel Suarez
NASCAR
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Daniel Suarez will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 with the newly formed Trackhouse Racing, the organization announced Thursday.

The team, which will field Suarez in the No. 99 Chevrolet, has been formed by Justin Marks. Marks is a former NASCAR driver and once co-owned a K&N Pro Series West team.

Trackhouse will be part of a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing and will use ECR engines. The team replaces Germain Racing as a technical alliance partner and will operate from RCR’s shop in Welcome, North Carolina.

“The formation of a top-level NASCAR Cup Series team has been a dream of mine for a long time,” Justin Marks told NASCAR.com. “A lot of hard work has transpired to get us to this point and I don’t think we could’ve ended up with better partners in RCR and Chevrolet and with a more passionate and committed driver than Daniel Suárez. Daniel’s drive and hunger to get to the top of this sport is palpable every time I am in his presence. We are building a team of winners and Daniel has delivered just about every time he’s sat in race winning equipment. It’s my job now to put a car underneath him that will carry him to the highest echelon of the sport.”

For Suarez, the 2016 Xfinity Series champion, it will be the fourth team he’s raced for in four years in the Cup Series. In 2020 he has competed for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota in its first full-time season. He previously competed for Joe Gibbs Racing from 2017-18 and Stewart-Haas Racing in 2019.

“I see in Trackhouse a great opportunity for me with a very strong group of people that share the same vision, commitment and goals that I have,” Suárez told NASCAR.com. “Justin has been involved in the racing world for over 20 years and understands the ins and outs of the sport both as a driver and from the business side. I have learned a lot in the last few years and have been very fortunate to be a part of very good organizations. I have learned that this sport is about people, and I know we are going to work very hard to put together a talented team. Furthermore, getting the support from a strong manufacturer like Chevrolet will be a key to our success. My goal is simple, I want to win races.”

As for why Trackhouse chose the No. 99, Marks told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “On Track” that he wanted a number that has “some history that we could lean on,” specifically its association with former Cup driver Carl Edwards. But it is also part of Suarez’ career.

“The last time that number was in Victory Lane was with Carl (in 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway),” Marks said. “I called Carl and talked to him to just tell him what we were doing and make sure that he knew we were going to honor the legacy of the number and the history that he wrote in that car was going to be honored and carried on through our exploits … he gave it his blessing.

“Just last week, Daniel showed me a picture of the very first time he ever sat in a racing vehicle, he was like 7 years old in Monterrey, Mexico,” Marks continued. “Borrowed go kart, borrowed helmet, borrowed suit. And what number was on the side of it? 99.”

Trackhouse Racing is the second new Cup team to be announced for the 2021 season. It joins the unnamed team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan that will field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Trackhouse has leased a charter from Spire Motorsports, ensuring it a post in each race next year.

“Spire Motorsports has secured a third NASCAR charter and will lease a charter to Justin Marks and his organization, Trackhouse, as they endeavor to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series next season,” Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr said in a statement. “Spire currently remains committed to operating a two-car team in 2021. We’ve worked closely with Justin and his team for several years so we’re proud to help them get their program off the ground.”

Marks said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference the team will try to buy a charter after the 2021 season. Marks also said he expects to the team to have five “significant” sponsor partners next year.

Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing, will be the team’s president of racing operations.

Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway

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Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.