Trackhouse Racing embraces Nashville as its home city despite shop in North Carolina

NASCAR Trackhouse Nashville
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NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Though NASCAR teams (which are nearly all headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina) traditionally have no regional fan bases, Trackhouse Racing essentially has adopted the Music City as its home.

Though only three of its 130 employees live in Nashville, Trackhouse still has a major presence there. Tootsies, one of the ubiquitous bars that form the neon-drenched “Nashvegas” scene on Lower Broadway, is a team sponsor. Team co-owner Justin Marks and president Ty Norris form the Nashville-based braintrust that has turned Trackhouse into the biggest story of the 2022 season as drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez have qualified for the playoffs with breakthrough victories in the Cup Series.

Yet the team has downsized on its original vision for having roots in Tennessee.

After buying the assets of Chip Ganassi Racing last year, it became readily apparent that Trackhouse would be unable to become the first major Cup team based outside the Charlotte area since Furniture Row Racing (which won the 2017 championship from its shop in Denver, Colorado).

In addition to Ganassi’s two charters, Trackhouse also took ownership of a 140,000-square-foot shop adjacent to the Concord, North Carolina airport and more than 100 people with homes in North Carolina.

“Nashville is very important to Trackhouse,” Marks told NBC Sports in a sitdown interview (held at Tootsies) that ran during Sunday’s NASCAR on NBC prerace show. “We run our business out of Nashville. But everyone else is in Charlotte because we’ve got to put cars on the racetrack. The idea of the early days was to acquire a charter, build a team from scratch here in Nashville. We put an all points bulletin out to the sport saying, ‘We’ll pay for your moves, build a shop in Nashville, build a NASCAR team.

“That’s actually what I really wanted to do. Well, things changed when Chip Ganassi and I had this conversation about the acquisition.”

There’s no arguing with Trackhouse’s success this season as Chastain in particular has exhibited championship-caliber consistency while competing against stalwarts such as Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske.

But even if its results had been less than sterling, Trackhouse would have been hard-pressed to relocate – especially with Chevrolet opening a new technical center in the Charlotte area this season.

“You can’t take a company that exists and move it very easily, especially in our sport,” Marks said. “A big part of the fact that we had a huge commitment from Chevrolet. We’re fundamental partners. It just became obvious to us that the actual racing operations had to stay in Charlotte, but we’re also building a brand and have a lot of really exciting things in the pipeline, from a brand and marketing standpoint that we’re working on right now that are going to be quintessentially Nashville based.

“So my hope is that Trackhouse grows into a bigger, bettter Cup Series team based in Charlotte, but that bigger stuff will be run out of Nashville.”

Trackhouse is in its second year after being formed last year by entertainer Pit Bull and Marks.

“I grew up in an entrepreneur household,” Marks said. “My father started businesses. That was always something that fascinated me. But my heroes were always race car drivers, so I wanted to drive.”

After pursuing a driving career (which included an Xfinity Series victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2016), Marks shifted into becoming a racing businessman. After opening the GoPro Motorplex go-kart track in Mooresville, North Carolina, and owning a minor-league NASCAR team, Marks decided to take the plunge on a Cup team after learning about the details of Next Gen.

“NASCAR announced they’re bringing in this new car, and all of a sudden I saw an opportunity to go Cup racing in a way that we could be successful and build a brand,” Marks said. “The barriers to entry had come down a little bit. I went and flew to Daytona with Ty Norris, and met with Jim France and said, ‘Is this car real? How are you going to officiate it? What’s the vision for it?’

“I walked out of that meeting and (said) my driving days are over. It’s all about Trackhouse now.”

Marks, Chastain and Suarez sat down at Tootsies last week with NASCAR on NBC’s Marty Snider for the interview during the prerace show on Peacock for Sunday’s Nashville Superspeedway event.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.

NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin


NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Hamlin forced Elliott toward the wall. Elliott’s car slapped the wall. Elliott then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”