With the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season three days away from commencing at Daytona International Speedway, Trackhouse Racing solidified its full-time driver lineup for the foreseeable future by inking Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez to multi-year contract extensions in a span of two days.
It all started on Wednesday, February 15, prior to the Daytona 500 pole qualifying session when Trackhouse announced that Suarez will be remaining as a driver for the organization in a new multi-year contract extension. Now on Thursday, February 16, and ahead of a pair of Bluegreen Vacations Duels, Chastain scratched his name off the free agency list after inking himself a new multi-year deal to remain with the organization.
The news comes as Trackhouse Racing is coming off its second and finest season to date in NASCAR Cup Series competition, where both Chastain and Suarez achieved their first career victories in NASCAR’s premier series and qualified for the 2022 Cup Playoffs. While Suarez finished in a career-best 10th place in the final driver’s standings, Chastain advanced all the way to the Championship 4 round at Phoenix Raceway in November and contended for a first NASCAR Cup title for himself and the organization, where he went on to notch a career-best second place in the title standings.
For Suarez, the 2023 season is set to mark his seventh full-time campaign in the Cup Series. The 31-year-old Suarez and a former Xfinity Series champion from Monterrey, Mexico, served as Trackhouse’s first competitor during the team’s inception in 2021, where he piloted the No. 99 entry a single top-five result, four top-10 results, led 74 laps and recorded an average-finishing result of 20.1. This past season, he claimed his first career victory at Sonoma Raceway in June following a dominant performance and became the first Mexican-born competitor to win in NASCAR’s premier series. He also accumulated career-high stats of six top-five results, 13 top-10 results, 280 laps led and an average-finishing result of 16.5 throughout the season as he claimed a berth to the Playoffs for the first time in his career.
With a total of 215 career starts in the Cup Series to his resume, Suarez has previously competed for Gaunt Brothers Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. He has also racked up a total of three Xfinity victories and one Craftsman Truck Series victory.
“Trackhouse is my home and I am very happy with this announcement,” Suarez said. “We are building something special on the No. 99 team and at Trackhouse Racing. We can’t wait to get the season started on Sunday.”
“Obviously, everyone at Trackhouse Racing is pleased with the performance and professionalism of Daniel both on and off the track,” Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing, added. “Culture has been of prime importance since the idea of Trackhouse existed only on a whiteboard in an office. Daniel has fulfilled every expectation, and we look forward to the future. The best is yet to come.”
For Chastain, this upcoming season is set to mark his third consecutive full-time stint in NASCAR’s premier series having made a total of 151 series career starts. The 30-year-old Chastain who is also an eighth-generation watermelon farmer from Alva, Florida, joined Trackhouse for its second season in 2022 after the team acquired Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets, where Chastain had been competing in part of a journeyman career scaling back to 2014. Piloting the No. 1 entry, Chastain notched his first two Cup career victories at Circuit of the Americas in March and at Talladega Superspeedway in April following two dramatic last lap passes. Once in the Playoffs, he recorded enough points to transfer through the first two Playoff rounds. Then at Martinsville Speedway in October, which served as the third round’s finale, he executed a bold daring move while scraping the outside wall to overtake five competitors and race his way into the Championship 4 field. Ultimately, he went on to finish in third place on the track during the finale and in second place in the final championship standings.
In addition to his first two career victories and a runner-up result in the final standings, Chastain capped off the 2022 campaign with career-high stats of 15 top-five results, 21 top-10 results, 692 laps led and an average-finishing result of 13.3 as he bids for another opportunity for his first series title. To go along with his two Cup victories, the Floridian has two Xfinity victories and four Truck wins to his resume.
“It’s taken a lot of years, a lot of hard work and sacrifice, plus a lot of help from a lot of people, but I can safely say I have found a home at Trackhouse Racing,” Chastain said following the announcement of his contract extension. “There is nowhere in the world I would rather be and nothing I would rather do than race the No. 1 Chevrolet in NASCAR for Justin and the people at Trackhouse Racing.”
“Ross Chastain is the type of driver and type of person we want representing Trackhouse Racing, our employees, and our corporate partners,” Marks added. “You saw what Ross did with us in just our first year together and we think the future is even brighter. He brings a determination, dedication, and commitment to his job on and off the track that uplifts everyone in our shop. I’m proud he is part of our organization.”
Trackhouse Racing made its inaugural presence in NASCAR at the start of the 2021 season when former driver and team owner Justin Marks created a team of his own with Armando Christian Perez, going by the stage name Pitbull, assuming an ownership role with the team. Ty Norris, a former executive at Dale Earnhardt Inc., also joined the organization during its inception.
In two seasons, Trackhouse Racing has achieved three victories, 22 top-five results, 38 top-10 results and 280 laps led in a combined 109 career starts in the Cup circuit. Along with the Nos. 1 and 99 entries, the team debuted Project 91, a part-time entry that would be fielded for international competitors to compete in a Cup event, at Watkins Glen International in August with former Formula One champion Kimi Räikkönen serving as the project’s first competitor. Project 91 will be returning for select Cup events that have yet to be determined along with the team’s choice of drivers.
With its future set, Trackhouse Racing shifts its focus on a pair of Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona International Speedway that will occur on Thursday, February 16, beginning at 4 p.m. on FS1 before launching its 2023 NASCAR Cup Series campaign on Sunday, February 19, for the 65th annual running of the Daytona 500 that will commence at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.